129 Morgantis Road
I had the pleasure of meeting a lovely family out in Eganstown one dreary Sunday morning. I had an ever greater joy getting to see carefree pigs ears-afloppin’ and snouts-ascrunchin’. It was a trip out to Eganstown, approximately 15minutes away from Daylesford. The event was aptly titled “Eat Your Ethics at Jonai Farms”, which was part of the Daylesford Macedon Produce Harvest Week Festival.
I have become more aware and conscious of animal ethics since I moved to Melbourne. Ethically-reared free-ranging farm animals were uncommon in Asia and the more unfortunate fact was that few Asian meat consumers cared where and how the meat came about. I have been practicing “Meatless Mondays” and supporting free-range farming for quite a while now.
It was a delight to tour the Jonai Farm and seeing Tammi’s rare breed Large Breed pigs happy as, well, happy as pigs in s***. I will not go into too much detail but I do implore that you read about Tammi’s philosophy behind her way of farming. Fakebooo has written a beautiful elaborated post of our visit. Have a read and delight at the wonderful pictures of those cute oinkers!
Some of the highlights of my experience at the Jonai Farm are:
– Happy pigs, free-roaming, able to express themselves in all ways possible
– Family integration amongst the Jonai, with the children remarking that it’s great the family works together
– Delicious homemade food literally from farm to table
The Jonai farm welcome the general public to tour their property and to purchase meat fresh off the farm. Booo and I departed, but not without taking home some ribs and loin chops. A barbecue night was in order.
The Angmoh graciously hosted the pork fest. Well, he had to, he was the only one amongst us 3 with a BBQ. I fell in love with the salad Tammi had made that day and attempted to replicate it. It was basically a zesty, refreshing coleslaw of shredded kohlrabi, celeriac and apple, with half a finely-chopped Spanish onion mixed in. The vegetables were then simply dressed with lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
The Angmoh took his manly duties very seriously that evening. He fired up his barbeque, cranked it to the hottest possible setting, and in went the pork belly, skin scored and rubbed with salt. The smell of charred pork and smoke soon filled the air. It was the most tantalising smell ever. The temperature of the BBQ was turned down after 15 minutes, the belly was then given 30 minutes, and after that, a final heat blast to ensure crispy cracky crackling!
The ribs and loin chops went in next. The ribs were marinated with store-bought sauce (I forgot all about it and would have made one from scratch but oh well) while the chops were rubbed with olive oil, salt and pepper. They were in for about 3-5 minutes each side, and dinner was finally served!
It was a delicious, gut-bursting meal. The pork belly was perfect with tender meat and symphonic crackling. The chops were full of flavour and the ribs bone-sucking, finger-licking worthy. I do have to point out that the pork belly was from a butcher in South Melbourne Market, and would highly likely be from a female pig, while the chops and ribs purchased from the Jonai Farm were from a male pig. The boar taint was apparent in the latter, but of a mild form and extremely tolerable. I admit that I may wait for the farm to sell gilts before I make my next purchase.
But I digress. What meal ends without dessert? I had made a lemon-syrup pistachio cake just a couple hours before dinner. I adapted the recipe from The Little Loaf, and made it in a single loaf tin. I had reduced the overall amount of sugar (180g for the cake and 25g for the syrup) and would recommend doubling the syrup recipe for a giant single loaf (in my case) as I had just enough to soak half the cake. It was marvelous, if I may. It was moist, not too dense and uplifted with the tangy syrup.
The barbecue pork night was a success. Happy pigs make delicious pork, especially with the help of a clever little machine, manned by an Aussie bloke.