Rare breeds are now, at last, being seen to be making a comeback and have emerged as a first choice for discerning cooks and those who produce a quality BBQ.
During the recent recession, sales of rare breed meat declined. Yes, it is more expensive than mass produced meat, but as they say – you get what you pay for.
There is no doubt that the taste and texture of rare breed meat is a step above any of the water forced, bland meat that appeals to the massed, cost conscious market. However, it is not every day that you have a BBQ, so why not go for the best. And while you’re buying your joint or chops, try out rare breed bacon. Once tasted, you won’t go back.
Without giving away any age, many people comment that rare breed meat takes them back to the taste they enjoyed as a child. So why not introduce those pleasures to today’s generation. At Rotigrill, we’ve said it many times. “If you don’t eat it, it won’t be produced and the breeds will become extinct”.
We feature quite a few pork recipes on the Rotigrill website, so please take a look. All of the recipes stand out and receive glowing comments from BBQ guests, when rare breed meat has been used. And when you roast them on a rotisserie BBQ such as our XL3, you will be stunned at the results.
Depending on whether you are buying your pig for bacon, ham, joints or as a whole animal, you might be interested to see the various characteristics of each breed:
The Gloucestershire Old Spot is renowned for the quality of its meat and is a dual purpose breed suitable for pork or bacon production.
The Welsh is ideal for both pork and bacon production with carcases remaining lean at heavier weights.
Oxford & Sandy Black Produces meat of very high quality and flavour (the meat is not susceptible to the pigs markings). It finishes quicker than many traditional breeds, and they are less inclined to run to fat. They are a multi-purpose breed which produces succulent pork, high quality bacon and ham.
The Large White is predominantly renowned for bacon production but there is the flexibility within the breed to allow farmers to produce animals at a range of weights. The breed is well conformed with little fat and suited to meeting supermarket/processor requirements.
British Saddleback. This breed is dual purpose and makes a good pork pig or bacon pig if taken to heavier weights.
The Tamworth is a slow maturing breed but is a good dual purpose pig and is known for producing good bacon.
The Middle White is an early maturing, specialist pork pig and produces an excellent carcass when taken to weights of 65-70kg live weight. Another possible use for the Middle White is in the production of excellent suckling pigs, weighing 10-14kg live weight.
The Large Black is also much appreciated for its tasty succulent meat and eating qualities. It is superb as pork but excels when traditionally cured as bacon.
Although not widely used in commercial pig, farming the British Lop is a leaner breed than most of the rare pig breeds and less prone to becoming over fat.
The Berkshire is an early maturing, pork similar to the Middle White. The meat is renowned for its flavour and Berkshire pork is highly prized in Japan.
Rare breed pork is under threat and this shows a status as to the risk level for each rare breed:
Gloucester Old Spot
Oxford & Sandy Black
We would like to thanks the Rare Breeds Society for much of the information and facts contained in this article. https://www.rbst.org.uk