Mangalitsa Pork: The Wagyu Beef of Pork
Bessie has been given the unique opportunity to deliver Mangalitsa Pork from EH Farms to you. If you've never had Mangalitsa pork before, don't let this opportunity pass you by! This is the juiciest, most flavourful pork you'll ever have. Don't worry, it's not as hard to cook as you'd think!
Bessie & EH Farms
This partnership has been nearly a year in the making! Bessie met EH Farms in a very unique way. Both were featured in the same Calgary Herald article where Amanda Stephenson writes about the increase in consumer demand for direct-from-farm since COVID-19 began (you can read this article here). Consumers are becoming more aware of where their food comes from and want to know the story behind it. We fell in love with Christina's story and her passion for her farm. We reached out to her to see how we can work together. Graciously, she invited us to her farm visit during the summer—there is no better place to social distance. The founding team spent the morning learning more about her, her pigs, EH Farms, and her family.
We're excited to be working with EH Farms and adding her specialty Mangalitsa pork to our meat delivery. For a limited time you can have a selection of Mangalitsa pork delivered right to your doorstep!
About EH Farms
Raising outdoor pasture pigs has always been Christina's dream, one that came to reality in 2016. Eh Farms was the first in Canada to bring in Red Mangalitsa pigs, two pigs named Zsa Zsa and Hampton from California! Mangalitsa pigs weren't introduced to North America until 2007. Christina and her family's passion and love for being Albertan farmers really shines through when you see the love that goes into raising their animals. Through sharing her story and experiences, Christina hopes to provide a glimpse at life on a farm and the vital role agriculture plays in all of our lives. We often glance over the real dedication and care that goes into raising livestock and maintaining a farm.
What makes Mangalitsa pigs so special?
Mangalitsa pigs are a wooly Hungarian breed with a very fascinating heritage. In the 1800's Hungarian farmers crossed the Bakony and Szalonta with European wild boar, and the Sumadija breed from Serbia. It wasn't until 1927 that Mangalitsas were recognized as a breed in Europe. The Mangalitsa is one of the last hairy breeds with a wooly fleece like coat. This coat helps them withstand our harsh Albertan winters. The name Mangalitsa means "hog with a lot of lard", they are one of the fattiest pigs in the world. Her Mangalista pigs live a good life, spending their lives with free-range, foraging around the farm and filling themselves up with a natural diet. Christina raises her pigs slowly for 2 years before harvesting, as opposed to other breeds which are 6 - 9 months. This is what gives them Mangalitsa pork its mouthwatering, juicy flavour that is considered among the tastiest pork in the world. Because they are raised slowly, they produce more fat than traditional pork. This healthy fat is rich in Omega 3, Omega 6, Omega 9, Vitamin D, and antioxidants! Mangalitsa pigs are a lard pig. Their lard is lighter and melts at a lower temperature and contains more unsaturated far than other breeds. This lard is amazing for making the best, flakiest pastries! They're renowned for the most delicious charcuterie, salami, and cured hams.
Humanely Raised with Love
One of the reasons we fell in love with EH Farms is Christina's dedication to raising all of her animals humanely. EH Farms is now home to 63 Mangalitsa pigs, some part of her breeding program, some for meat and 24 piglets (or as Christina called them, bacon bits)! Their farm is divided up into 5 section: boar housing, teenager pens, weaned piglet pens, pregnant girls' pen, and the farrowing barn. A farrowing barn is where a sow (mamma pig) gives birth. EH Farm's farrowing barn and how Christina takes care of her Mangalitsa sows is what makes them unique. Traditionally, farrowing crates are used to prevent the mom from laying on her piglets. Two weeks before mom is ready to farrow, she's brought into the farrowing barn to rest and build her nest. Armed with a futon, wine, and pizza, Christina sleeps in the barn to watch over the piglets for the first 3 days of their life. She checks that all the Mangalitsa piglets are healthy, suckling, and not getting squished when mom lays down. Squished piglets are the number one cause of death at this stage. Outside of the barn, she has set up individual pens for her Mangalitsa pigs to roam, root, forage, dig, and wallow in a mud hole.
So How Do I Cook It?
Very simply! This premium pork can look very intimidating since it's so different from traditional pork. The bacon and jowls can be cooked the same way that you cook traditional bacon, it will change your world! The ground Mangalitsa pork is very versatile! Use it to make burgers, meatballs, dumplings, or in any other recipes that you would use traditional ground pork in! The Mangalitsa pork chops are loin cuts taken from the back of the pig, near the spine. Since Mangalitsa pork has beautiful marbling filled with delicious fat, it should be slow cooked to render it all. If you need a very simple recipe for the pork chops, check out this one here from Eh Farms!
Mangalitsa Pork is renown with chefs world wide, it was even an Iron Chef ingredient in 2012! EH Farm's Mangalitsa has been prepared by local chefs such as Darren Maclean of Shokunin and Connie DeSousa of Charcut, who cut down a 500 lb pig together. Banff Springs currently has one of Eh Farm's Mangalitsas that they've been aging for over a year!
Is your inner adventurous chef itching to come out? Have your premium Mangalitsa pack delivered to your door!