A Berkshire pork is a heritage breed of pig with an average weight at maturity of 270 kg. Modern animals are almost entirely black, but the original stock was sandy-brown. They have white points on the feet, nose, and tail. They also have relatively short legs and have prick ears. They have a dish-shaped face with a large jaw and an inverted nose when observed from the side. Berkshire pork is well known for its juiciness, flavor, and tenderness. This breed of pig is being raised in several parts of the world, including England, Japan, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.
Berkshire Pork Trivia
- Pork is the most widely-eaten meat in the world.
- Berkshire breeds are omnivores, and they love to eat.
- Out of all farm animals, they have the best sense of smell.
- They are social animals that swiftly get used to the presence, and they are fond of humans.
- Some Berkshire pigs are sufficiently clever to learn tricks, abide by commands, and use a waste box.
- The sludge that dried out on their skin acts as a sunscreen and defends them against parasites, such as lice, ticks, and flies.
Berkshire: A pig of a black breed, now rarely kept commercially.
Pork: Meat from a pig or hog
Mammals: An animal that breathes air, has a backbone and grows hair at some point during its life.
Swine: Refers to animals in the pig family.
Wean: The piglet is big enough to eat on his own and doesn’t nurse from the sow anymore.
Berkshire Pork Buying Guide
When buying Berkshire pork, look for cuts with a relatively small amount of fat over the outside and with firm meat and a grayish pink color. Avoid choosing any meat that has a dark-colored bone. The fat of the pork should be white with no dark spots.
Don’t hesitate to smell or touch the meat to make sure it’s as fresh as you can get. Raw meat can be mishandled, so make sure you get this right. If you can, it’s best to buy it early in the morning or during your grocery store’s delivery days.
Berkshire Pork Production & Farming in Texas
Berkshire pigs are an excellent choice for people who want to raise heritage livestock with taste that consumers appreciate. They mature quite a bit faster than a beef cow and render way more meat and lard than poultries. They make up the majority of the niche market pig population. Although the pork production has increased across the United States and demand continues for high-quality pork, there remains a lack of production standards for niche pork producers against which to benchmark their performance, according to Matt Swantek and his colleagues at Iowa State University.
Found over 300 years ago in Berkshire County in the United Kingdom, Berkshire pork was thought by many to be the Kobe beef of pork. It is said to have a particular taste, not generic and bland or mild like regular pork. They were specifically bred for the King of England for his meat supply, because berkshire pork are known for their excellent meat.
Today, Berkshire Pork is one of the most highly sought after pork in the world. Unlike any other meat, berkshire pork is visibly different. It has a darker, more vibrant color with an abundance of intramuscular marbling. Its taste is distinctive with an unparalleled juiciest and tenderness for pork.
Enjoying Berkshire Pork
You may have heard of Berkshire pork on the menu of many fancy restaurants. It is renowned for its richness, texture, marbling, juiciness, tenderness, and overall depth of flavor. Berkshire pork is also referred to as Kurobuta or black pig in Japanese, and it is very popular in Japan. It yields a pink-hued, heavily marbled meat whose high-fat content is suitable for long cooking times and high-temperature cooking.
Wrap the pork in convenient portions using specially-coated freezer paper, heavy-duty aluminum foil, or plastic bags. You must cover sharp bones with extra paper so that they will not pierce the plastic. Wrap the meat tightly, and press as much air out of the package as possible.
Label with the name of the pork cut and date, and freeze at 0° F or lower. Fresh pork cuts can be stored in the refrigerator 2 to 4 days; sealed ground pork will keep in the fridge for 1 to 2 days. If you plan on keeping the raw, fresh pork longer than 2 to 3 days before cooking it, store it well-wrapped in the freezer.
With pork being approximately 30% leaner than it was a few decades ago, it is essential not to overcook it if the desired result is to produce a cut of meat that is tender and juicy.
Berkshire pork requires less seasoning than you may be accustomed to with commodity pork due to the breed’s naturally high PH level. Also, be careful to not over season nor overcook to enhance Berkshire’s fantastic flavor. Remove it from the heat source when it reaches a temperature that is 5°F to 10°F lower than the desired doneness temperature and then allows the meat to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving or carving.
Several methods to successfully cook Berkshire Pork are Braising, Broiling, Grilling or Barbecuing, Roasting, and Stewing.
Being high in protein and with its vitamins and minerals, Berkshire pork can be an excellent addition to a healthy diet. If they are raised on pasture, with access to natural forage and plenty of sunshine, their meat and fat are also more abundant in micronutrients, particularly fat-soluble vitamins E and D, as well as minerals like selenium.
Vitamins and Minerals
The following vitamins and minerals are abundant in Berkshire pork:
Thiamine: One of the B vitamins that play an essential role in various bodily functions.
Selenium: The best sources of this essential mineral are animal-derived foods, such as meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy products
Zinc: A vital mineral, zinc is necessary for a healthy brain and immune system.
Vitamin B12: Important for blood formation and brain function. Deficiency in this vitamin may cause anemia and damage to neurons.
Vitamin B6: Important for the formation of red blood cells.
Niacin: Serves a variety of functions in your body and is essential for growth and metabolism.
Phosphorus: Essential for body growth and maintenance.
Iron: Absorption of meat iron from your digestive tract is very efficient, and pork can be considered an outstanding source of iron.