Here is a new pork to treat your favourite gourmet. It is the ‘kobe’ or ‘wagyu’ beef of pork, the Champagne and caviar, probably the finest flavoured pork you will ever eat—and it comes from an aristocrat among pigs, with a phenomenal rich, deep flavour, so good it might easily spoil you for ‘normal’ pork . . . but what a rare treat to serve your epicurean guests!
The pork is from the Mangalitza, or ‘Woolly Pig’, a rare breed with an aristocratic Hungarian pedigree as well as an unusually hairy appearance. Its kobe beef-like marbling through the gamey flesh makes it the tastiest pork imaginable. It was bred by Archduke Joseph Anton in the 1880s, and it was considered so good that initially the meat was reserved for the Habsburg Royalty. As the Empire dissolved and tastes changed, the breed was brought to the verge of extinction.
But Mangalitza pork is undergoing a revival, as realisation dawns that ‘good fat’ (the meat has up to 16% less saturated fatty acids and up to 10% more unsaturated fatty acids than standard white pork) is better for health, that this is where real flavour lies—and most lean pork has all the taste and texture of cardboard. The Mangalitza also contains good cholesterol, which helps reduce levels of bad cholesterol in the human body, and is high in beneficial minerals including zinc, copper, iron and anti-oxidants. It also has a healthier balance of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids even than seed oils.
This extraordinary pig is farmed here in the UK by a few artisanal farmers, and is being seized on by Michelin-star chefs who want to serve pork with flavour. It is appearing in the Club Larder now thanks to those talented Rick Stein ‘Food Heroes’ Jeanette and Rachel at Alternative Meats, who discovered that Lisa Hodgson has a 200-strong herd on Duncomb Park Estate near Helmsley, North Yorkshire.
Lisa is passionate about her pigs. To develop their extraordinary flavour, the Mangalitza needs a seriously long growing period—from 18 to 30 months, much more like cattle than pigs—and Lisa’s diligent care keeps them happy and healthy throughout their lives, achieving their exquisite flavour. And although the pork is still rare and in short supply, we are delighted to have arranged a special steak box for our Members to be among the first to enjoy this delicious pork since the Habsbergs!
The box includes 12 pork steaks averaging 200g, four each of the best cuts: prime rib steak, rump steak and loin steak. RRP £89. CCUK £59. 12 pork steaks