The Produce Index: McIvor Farm Foods Pork

Published on June 13 2019.

Photo: McIvor Farm Foods free-range pigs

At McIvor Farm Foods, soil comes first, laying a strong foundation for breeding excellent quality free-range pork.

What
Consistently flavoursome and tender pork from Berkshire pigs raised in a true free-range environment.

Where
McIvor Farm covers a large swathe of a sheltered hillside at Tooboorac, 10 kilometres south-east of Heathcote. The pigs graze on lush pasture growing in the free-draining granitic soil.

Who
Husband and wife Jason and Belinda Hagen returned to Jason’s family farm almost a decade ago, transforming a rundown horse farm into a regenerative grazing property with pigs, sheep and cattle. The pigs turn over and fertilise the soil while the Hagens re-sow the ground with over a dozen different types of pasture that create nourishing feed for the cattle and the pigs.

Why it’s different
Berkshire pigs are renowned for their thick layer of fat. However, through their understanding of feed, stocking density and shelter, the Hagens produce pork with a more desirable fat content for modern tastes. McIvor pork has skin that crisps perfectly and flesh that is juicy with a clean finish. McIvor Farm also offers the highest standards in animal welfare, with the animals living entirely free-range on pasture with warm shelter in winter and shade and sprinklers in summer.

 

Rolled Pork Loin from McIvor Farm FoodsA roast from McIvor Farm Foods Pork

Who’s a fan?
“I have eaten a lot of pork in my life and this is amazing,” says Francesco Rota, chef and owner of Trattoria Emilia. He seasons McIvor pork belly with salt, fennel seed and pepper, steams it until “super tender” then pan-fries it to a crisp finish before layering with shaved fennel inside panini. Closer to the farm, try the pork at Masons of Bendigo, Colenso in Kyneton and The Woodhouse, Bendigo.

Buy
At Hagens Organics shops (no relation), The Daylesford Meat Co and Avenel Meats or direct from farm gate by appointment: mcivorfarmfoods.com.au, 0419 422 238.

McIvor Farm Foods is also available at the following farmers’ markets: Bendigo, Collingwood Children’s Farm, Lancefield, Tallarook and Woodend.

By Richard Cornish

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