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Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Treacle Treat. From the Saddleback Pig Company.
Got something of a sweet surprise on a recent visit to Bandon Farmers Market when I called to see Nathan Wall of the Saddleback Pig Company. “Try these,” he said, as he handed me a pack of what looked like blackish rashers.
What trick was this, I thought. But, in fact, it was a treat. The “Sweet Black Bacon Smoked” are fantastic. Treacle has been used in the process and when the rashers are cooked, they do look even blacker. Their initial burst of sweet flavour is fantastic and they are my Taste of the Week.
It is a new product and I’m sure our local chefs can do something really special with it once they get to know of it. In the meantime, you get a pack (or two) from Nathan at the market in Bandon (every Saturday) and in Clonakilty (every Friday).
Nathan has a small family run farm situated in Baltimore, West Cork, specialising in the breeding and rearing of rare breed Saddleback pigs.
“Though only a small business we concentrate on the welfare of all our pigs which are reared and run outside where they are free to root and forage. Our pigs are raised on a diet of mainly vegetables and rolled barley which are chemical free and do not contain any growth enhancers allowing the pigs to mature over a longer period of time giving the meat a fuller flavour.”
Sausages made from a minimum of 86 per cent meat with natural casings and no artificial preservatives.
Dry cured bacon naturally smoked or unsmoked in a cure made up of sea salt, raw cane sugar and a mixture of herbs and spices.
Hams produced in a brine of white wine, rosemary, bay, thyme, pepper and juniper.
All cuts of pork are available fresh or frozen.Read more about them here.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Good Food from Bandon and Good Wine from Bordeaux
Made a short visit to Bandon Farmers Market last Saturday. And every stallholder I called to said I was great to come out in the rain. But if you'ee not willing to go out in the rain in Ireland, you’re going to waste half your life.
Great to see some familiar faces like Shirley Kingston, the market co-ordinator, and some new ones as well. Of course, it’s all about the food and I was delighted when Nathan Wall of the Saddleback Pig Company in Baltimore showed me his new product: Sweet Black Bacon Smoked. He tells me it's proving very popular. We’ll have more on Nathan and his fantastic “black” rashers in the next week or so.
No shortage of bakers here and Heavens Cakes, well known in the English Market, had some sweet things on offer. Good too to see Dunmanway Baking Emporium with a stall here, including a baguette that we needed for the evening.
And another surprise was the stand manned, if that’s the word, by Toni. Jams, chutneys and pickles, and relishes of all types, including Red Currant Jelly, Rose Hip and Apple Jelly and Fruit compote. She also sells her eggs, all at a very reasonable price.
The rain, by the way, was bad enough at times but there were clear spells as well and we took advantage of one of those to trot over to the quay and call in to see Ruth Healy in her fabulous food store and cafe at URRU. The warm cups of coffee and a massive ginger cookie were more than welcome.
Bandon is indeed well supplied with places to eat and, of course, things to eat. I had spotted the well stocked, well laid out butcher shop of Martin Carey on previous visits and made a point of calling this time.
This award winning store has a huge choice of meats but we went for the French trimmed lamb shanks, served up later that evening with market vegetables and a red wine gravy. The red wine, Chateau Lamothe Vincent, came from Bordeaux and not all of it went into the cooking!
The starter, a bruschetta using the baguette from the market, some Atlantic Sea Salt and a tomato salsa (all along the lines suggested by the Turkhead Delights cookbook), was excellent as was the dessert, a crumble with rhubarb (from the back garden) and orange. But mainly it was Bandon and Bordeaux. And I really couldn’t tell you if it was raining when I tucked into the lamb!
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Baltimore’s Saddleback Pig Company
Got a pleasant surprise on a recent trip to the Bandon Farmers Market when I came across the Saddleback Pig Company from Baltimore. Stopped to have a look at the joints, the rashers and the sausages and soon had a hot piece of sausage in my hand as a sample. Gorgeous stuff, full of great flavours and a lovely supple texture, real meat.
Got a pack of the sausages, a new mix: gluten free sausages 100% pork, cracked black pepper, cumin, oregano, sweet smoked paprika and garlic. Very tasty indeed and they sold out last Saturday! So get to Bandon early this Saturday or maybe Clon on the Friday.
Had a chat with Nathan Hall who is very proud of his small family run farm at Rath Hill on Baltimore: “We are a small family run farm situated specialising in the breeding and rearing of rare breed Saddleback pigs. Though only a small business we concentrate on the welfare of all our pigs which are reared and run outside where they are free to root and forage. Our pigs are raised on a diet of mainly vegetables and rolled barley which are chemical free and do not contain any growth enhancers allowing the pigs to mature over a longer period of time giving the meat a fuller flavour.”
Their Dry cured bacon is naturally smoked or unsmoked in a cure made up of sea salt, raw cane sugar and a mixture of herbs and spices. Hams are produced in a brine of white wine, rosemary, bay, thyme, pepper and juniper. All cuts of pork are available fresh or frozen. And they certainly looked great on the stall in Bandon.
You can find them at Clonakilty Farmers Market every Friday and in Bandon Farmers Market every Saturday. Find out much more about them on their Facebook page.
Location: Rath Hill, Baltimore Co. Cork.
Phone 086 2633219.