Thistle Hill Farm – Blog

…doing what comes naturally

Category: Pork

From the kitchens of Thistle Hill…

…and yes while we have two kitchens…son Church continues his triumphs on the Kamado Joe grill. This time it’s a pork belly smoked by that apple wood tree we harvested a few weeks ago. Church recommends scoring the fat side diagonally and then rubbing all sides with Bone Suckin’ Seasoning and extra brown sugar. Cover […]

A sign of spring…

…along with Forsythia and Daffodils…baby piglets. And again this year we’re importing our “weanlings” from Indian Summer Farm in Forest, Virginia. Berkshire is probably the leading pig among the heritage breeds and these are 3/4 Berks.  But we also like the leaner meat, and particularly the bacon, the Tamworth produces…so these piglets also have Tamworth […]

A Thistle Hill special weekend treat…

…applewood smoked pork ribs. Son Church got the recipe for the rub from a trucker…a mix of paprika, salt and pepper and chili, garlic and onion powder. Still a long way to go with the 3-2-1 method of wrapping, unwrapping and mopping.  The secret of course is the apple wood smoke and we’re using our […]

This little piggy…

..is off to the market soon. This guy claims to be a Berkshire, but for some reason I keep seeing a Gloucester Old Spot!  No matter; both are delicious breeds. However, unless you pre-ordered, you’ll just have to take our word for it.  This year’s group has already sold out. Beef coming soon.  Don’t be […]

Thistle Hill ham…

..using Curt’s go-to recipe with thanks to “everydaymaven.com”. It starts with scoring the ham than patting on a mixture of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and kosher salt. Have to punch cloves in, of course. After 1:15 in an oven, baste with a sixth of a cup of maple syrup. Cook 15 minutes more and baste […]

The Class of 2021…

…the next batch of piglets have arrived at Thistle Hill and will “graduate” next March! We’ve pretty much settled on crosses of Berkshire and Tamworth for our purposes…both are heritage English pigs known for their bacon and hams. We’ve also found they’re easy to handle…no minor attribute when dealing with pigs.  Their predecessors incidentally are […]

A true confession…

…I must admit I never liked pork much until we processed the first pigs raised at Thistle Hill.  The difference between that pork and the factory-raised pork in restaurants and supermarkets was unbelievable…greater even than the gap between store-bought vegetables and the garden variety. Recently Carolyn prepared one of our ham steaks and it was […]

Lest we forget…

…pork is on the way.  Five pigs that look like they’ll be ready from now to Christmas. This year we’re raising mostly Berkshires…with some Tamworth thrown in.  Most pig growers seem to eventually settle on Berkshires for the flavor…and all-around performance. In the past we’ve favored Tamworth and Gloucester Old Spot, but we thought it […]

You should know…

…the food you eat.  China is the leader in world pork production…that is when disease isn’t decimating their pig farms. Somehow we suspect this innovation isn’t going to make things any better.  And you need to remember, Chinese pork is now in our food system…and without country of origin labeling! David https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/sep/18/a-12-storey-pig-farm-has-china-found-a-way-to-stop-future-pandemics-

What were the odds…

…with four daughters what were the odds they would all marry men who love to cook? I’m a lucky guy and am particularly blessed when Thistle Hill can supply the entree! Son-in-law Curt Humphreys demonstrates what a pork loin should look like: perfectly pink. You won’t find flavor like this at a supermarket. Curt did […]