Cooking up a Storm with The Black Farmer-A Review

My food pictures have been creating quite the stir on social media this week. Already fans of The Black Farmer sausages, we have been trying out his new range of pork products raised without antibiotics.

Leading the way in being the first mainstream brand to introduce the produces, The Black Farmer has worked closely with partner farms to establish farming and production methods in response to the rising resistance to antibiotics. The selection of fresh British pork cuts from RSPCA assured pork can be easily identified by the blue Antibiotic Free swing tag.

Antibiotic resistance is the biggest threat to modern medicine, according to a report for the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and report say we must act now to help keep antibiotics effective for future generations.

The reduction of use of antibiotics in the food chain is one place to start and Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, The Black Farmer has become one of the first main stream meat producers to stop using antibiotics in his animals.

The unique farming method means that the sows are free to roam outside and are fed on only vegetarian feed. The system guarantees that piglets are born outdoors and reared without the use of antibiotics from birth. Such a high level of welfare means that there is a consistent supply of healthy, natural pig meat from happy pigs. And happy pigs means happy tummies.

The Black Farmer range comprises: Shoulder Joint; Fillet Medallions; Loin Steaks; Loin Chops; Belly Joint and Belly Slices.

This is what we enjoyed:

Filet Medallions with a creamy mushroom and tarragon sauce. They take very little cooking so I made sure the hassleback potatoes were ready just as I started to cook the medallions. For the sauce, I chopped an onion, let it cook with a lid on for five minutes, added the tarragon and chopped mushrooms and put the lid on for another few minutes. As the pork rested, I added double cream and a knob of butter and stirred until the sauce was warm and thicker.

We went Chinese with the loin steaks. I made a marinade of soy sauce, red chilli and lime. Cut the steaks into strips, coated in the marinade and stir fried with vegetables and noodles.

Next up came the belly slices and these were a favourite in our house. I cooked them for 30 minutes in the oven then poured over a BBQ sauce. Just buy a ready made one if you haven’t the time (or the inclination) to make your own. Cook for a further 20-25 minutes and serve with spicy fried and baked beans livened up with a but of chilli powder.

For our final Black Farmer feast, we had a pork shoulder joint. Now I would have made crackling but we had no salt and all of my knives are blunt but, for crackling, all you have to do is score the fat on the top of the joint, rub in oil and sea salt (rubbing especially into the cuts) and cook in a very hot oven on high for 20 minutes before reducing the heat to cook the rest of the joint.

The Black Farmer is one of the UK’s leading gluten free brands marketing a range of higher welfare, award winning pork sausages, chicken, burgers, meatballs, pork cuts, bacon, eggs and cheese.

Launched 12 years ago the brand has gone on to great success with its products available in all the major UK high street and online retailers. The brand’s founder, Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones is in his own words ‘a poor boy, done good’. He was born in Frankfield, Clarendon, Jamaica and then, after his parents came to the UK in the 1950s, was raised in inner city Birmingham.

For a number of years Wilfred worked as a chef before pursuing a career in television. In 2000 Wilfred fulfilled a lifelong ambition to buy a small farm in Devon. This inspired him to develop and launch The Black Farmer – a name coined by his Devon neighbours. His Premium Pork sausages are one of the country’s leading brands of super premium sausages.

We have loved cooking with The Black Farmer and discovering his new range of pork. We were sent the products for the purpose of this review but all opinions are my own and the range is currently available from Ocado.

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