These days, when we’re not digging and shipping peonies, I’m helping customers complete their custom pork orders.
Because when our customers order a side (or 2) of pork, they then get ownership over every detail about how that pork will be cut.
Now at first, folks seem a bit intimidated and overwhelmed by all the choices.
Indeed, we are so used to grocery stores defining our food expectations.
But as customers start to understand the process, they begin to recognize, and then fully embrace, the fact that ordering custom pork custom gives them ultimate control over what and how they eat.
Then I watch as these same customers start making super savvy choices about how their pork will be cut!
So - since I know many of you are still pouring over your custom cut sheets and choosing your cuts - I thought I’d share four of the smartest things I’ve seen customers do.
1) Make jowl bacon
Usually the jowls of the pig are simply used for ground meat.
However, the jowl meat is actually very similar to pork belly meat.
And pork belly is one of the most coveted part of pig - the part used to make bacon.
So - if you can get bacon from 2 parts of the pig instead of just one, shouldn’t you do that?
Yes. Yes you should.
2) Choose cuts and flavors that are difficult to find
When is the last time you saw a Pork Tenderloin Roast in the store?
I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it.
And if you want to order it online, be prepared to drop $15-$30 a pound for sub-par meat most likely from animals raised in confinement barns.
However, our processors can easily handcraft you a tenderloin as part of your custom side of pork.
Trust me, once you’ve tasted this delicate cut, (it literally melts in your mouth), you’ll order a side of pork just to make sure you get this cut.
Other unusual cuts you can get when ordering custom?
Pork Osso Bucco
Cajun Sausages with Cheddar (yes that’s a thing)
Fresh - rather than smoked - Pork Belly
And of course, Jowl Bacon. Stores do not carry Jowl Bacon
3) Choose cuts that are custom-suited for your health concerns and the way you cook.
Not all cooks use all cuts. For example, I have a customer who stays away from smoked meat because of her health history. With a custom side of pork, she is able to order all roasts fresh.
Another customer relies on ground meat and likes to season her own sausages. So for her, grinding the Pork Shoulder and Boston Butt makes far more sense than having these parts cut as roasts.
The point is, if you order in line with the way you’ve chosen to cook, you are guaranteeing that each piece of meat suits your family’s needs and health concerns.
4) Use the “oddments.”
First - what the heck are oddments?
They are the bits of the pig that can be used but are often wasted. Think the organ meats, the tail, the ears etc.
Our customers shop with us because they want to eat as ethically as they possibly can. So being able to custom order and therefore use every piece of the pig, helps our customers know they are doing their part to reduce needless waste.
For example, I have customers who save the pigs ears to use for dog treats. The same can be done with the trotters and the pig bones.
I have another set of customers who use the organ meats to feed to their chickens. This is a smart choice, as the rich organ meats will substantially improve their birds’ overall well-being.
In our house, we have come to love the pig tail. We cook it as if it were a rib. It’s delicious.
So - like so many of our customers are already doing - use the oddments. You’ll be glad you chose wise stewardship over needless waste.
I still can’t decide what to order - Can I get some help?
Yes! I would love to walk you through this!
So if you’re selecting your cuts and feeling overwhelmed, or if you’ve been wanting to take the plunge into custom pork and are finally ready to do so, I am here to walk you through the process end-to-end.
Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll set up time to chat.
I promise - once you start ordering custom cut pork, you will never buy it any other way!
Finally, to all my custom pork veterans, let’s help folks who are new to custom pork Game.
Below please comment on:
1) what you liked about your previous custom pork orders and
2) what you might change.
Hearing actual experiences will really help to guide our newer customers! (I’ll be adding my comments too).