Bangalow Sweet Pork

I am excited to introduce Bangalow Sweet Pork, my supplier of pork and pork bones! 

Taro’sの豚骨とチャーシューにはとんでもなく旨い豚を使わせていただきます。その名もBangalow Sweet Pork。紹介させていただきます。

On Dec 29th, I visited Joe Mashett and Joe Byrne at The Sweet Pork Company.  It is about a 2.5 hour drive from Brisbane down to Ballina where their office is.   

In making the perfect bowl of tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen, obviously I need the perfect pork bones.  I tasted many types of pork but I came across Bangalow Sweet Pork by chance, initially on the internet.  I rang up Joe Byrne straight away to ask a few questions about how he raises the pigs and after hearing his no nonsense answers, I had a feeling that I might be doing business with this guy in the near future.  Joe exhibits unmistakable passion about the product with taste being an absolute priority.  He suggested I first try his product so I drove to a designated butcher, Village Meats in Rosalie to buy a portion of loin and belly.  I tried it at home and understood straight away what Joe was trying to tell me.  I had found the pork I wanted to use to create my perfect tonkotsu ramen. 

 

An interesting side note; Founder, Joe Byrne was proclaimed a “Pork Pioneer” and the Bangalow Sweet Pork Product was recently inducted into the SMH’s (Sydney) Magazine,  Food Hall Of  Fame. Quite an honor.

That was 4 months ago, Since then I have kept in touch with the other Joe, Joe Mashett (sales manager) during the preparation for my restaurant opening and having some certainty with the schedule of my opening, I decided to meet these guys face to face to discuss my requirements and to hear further about how they pull off making such a great product. 

My meeting planned for one hour with Joe Mashett ended up being three hours.  We had a varied and in depth discussion about all things pork. 

Sweet Pork’s pigs are not exotic breeds but a controlled cross breed of common Australian breeds such as Large Whites and Durocs. Their secret is looking after their pigs well and feeding them carefully on special diets.  Sweet Pork’s expert nutritionist looks after the pig diets by altering their feed blend and quantity according to the individual environmental circumstances. 

The resulting meat’s unsaturated fat content is no less than that of the Iberico pork and just as the Iberico pig is fed acorns for that characteristic flavor, the Sweet Pork team also calculate and nourish for flavorful meat by providing the pigs a special finisher feed for the final weeks prior to slaughter.  When I asked about the characteristic unsaturated fat content and the melt in your mouth sweetness of the fat of Sweet Pork, I was surprised to hear that according to Joe, more than the unsaturated fat content, the balance of the melting temperature of the fat with the unsaturated fat content is an important point. When they push up the unsaturated fat levels, the melting temperature of the fat lowers.  This is good, but if it goes too far, it changes the taste and the handling properties. Sweet Pork’s fat is melt in your mouth but relatively firm in composition as this gives a better texture, shedding excess fat when cooked but still retaining a percentage of the sweet fat which can help caramelize on the outer crust.  In addition, the firmer fat is beneficial for shelf life as well as for cutting and overall handling properties. 

The qualities of the fat are not the only thing the team takes into consideration. They consider everything that has to do with the taste and the eating quality of the meat. For example, mineral balances in the diets can be critical to flavour and moisture retention in the meat, etc.  Meticulous science as well as passion and respect for the animals combine to create a pork that can be rated as one of the best in the world. 

I was very happy with the visit.  I was able to obtain a better understanding of the product and strengthen my respect for the Sweet Pork team.  I placed my first order for bones and some neck for charsiu. I even received an unexpected gift, a 1kg sample of belly! 

This is how the gift ended up straight after the drive home.  Simple seared belly slices with some soy sauce and hot mustard.

お土産で持たせてもらったばら肉は即、焼肉にしました。 


The other half was thinly sliced and eaten as shabu shabu in hot broth and dipped in raw egg.  Beautiful!

その翌日の晩御飯です。こちらの生卵で食べる豚しゃぶは鹿児島で食べて美味しかった食べ方です。Sweet Pork、本場の黒豚に引けをとらない旨さです!この豚しゃぶとトンカツをDinner Timeに出そうと考えています。

5 Responses to Bangalow Sweet Pork

  1. 店長 says:

    taroさん凄いポークですね!Bangalow Sweet Pork!
    不飽和脂肪がたっぷりなんですね。

    コメントの中に
    不飽和脂肪レベルを上げるとき、脂肪の溶ける温度を下げる。
    と記述されていますが、スープを引く時の温度を高くしたり、長時間煮込むといけない(甘みが消える)と言うことなのでしょうか?
    もう一つ、カラメル化を助ける・・・。とありますが、どうゆう意味なのでしょうか?
    勉強不足ですみません。教えて下さい。

  2. 店長さん
    食いつきありがとうございます!難しい質問ですね。
    僕の感覚的な解釈ですので根拠はあまりありませんが、普通の豚の脂肪の融点とSweet Porkの融点の差は0.X度の世界で、調理の際加える温度からみると比較的小さな差であり、調理の原則は同じだと思います。やはり長時間高温でやるとぱさぱさしてしまいますし、脂がぬけることから肉の甘みも抜けると思います。
    普通の豚でもSweet Porkでもできるだけ火を入れない方が肉としては美味しいのではと思います。しかし、Sweet Porkはもともと脂肪が多く、肉の中にもサシが入っているような状態なのでどんな調理法をしても普通の豚と比べて適度に脂肪が残るため美味しいのではと思います。そして残った脂肪が口の中で溶けるということなのだと思います。そして雑味がないので脂が濃縮される豚骨スープでも美味しい出汁が出ると思っています。
    Caramelizeというのは焼き目のことですね。焼いたときに脂肪が全部とけるのではなく脂身にも焼き目がつくという意味です。

  3. せっちゃん says:

    豚しゃぶを生卵で食べるなんて始めて聞きました。今度鹿児島の人に聞いてみよう。その人はすき焼きにも豚肉を使うほどの人なのです。味のイメージがわきませんが機会があったら鹿児島にいって豚しゃぶを食べてみなくては・・・。

  4. せっちゃん says:

    鹿児島人曰く、「自分のうちでも同じように卵をつけて食べていた」とのこと。驚きです!同じ九州なのに食文化の違いは大きいらしい、と実感しました。

    • せっちゃん
      細部まで読んでくれて有り難うございます。いそがしくてなかなかブログの記事を更新できません。生卵の豚のしゃぶしゃぶ美味しいのですが食中毒の危険性を否めないのでお店ではゴマとポン酢で出しています。
      太郎

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