Summertime and the Living is Hectic
Our spring crop of Manga piglets is at the marauding age – rambunctious escapees who slip through fences at will and nip at Bruce’s heels on his feeding rounds, or shoot through his legs to get first crack at the barley bowls. We’re also making regular overnight trips to the USDA harvest facility in Fresno, a four hour midnight drive, now that orders are increasing (and we’ve found a reliable piggysitter). So “R & R” is a scarce commodity these days as summer is upon us.
But we’re not complaining! We’re delighted that more and more foodies are discovering the magical flavor of Winfield Mangalitsa. With grateful thanks to Edible Santa Barbara magazine, coordinators of the Tastes of Communities event at Santa Barbara’s exclusive Bacara Resort in April (see our Spring Update, part 3), we connected with Executive Chef Jeffrey O’Brien. Chef Jeff now features Winfield Mangalitsa pork on the menu of the Bacara’s Bistro restaurant. Succulent Winfield Mangalitsa loin roasts are popular with Bacara guests as well. Chef Jeff also served Winfield Mangalitsa belly in his Korean BLT sliders at Fiesta Ranchero, a special event in Goleta in June (to raving acclaim, we heard).
Edible also introduced us to another great customer, Barbareño in Santa Barbara. Executive Chef Julian Martinez now features Winfield Mangalitsa in the restaurant’s acclaimed Plate of Pork.
When Chef Julian informed us that Barbareño was hosting the Edible summer issue release party and invited us to participate, the event seemed a perfect fit — a great way to celebrate the magazine and promote our Mangalitsa simultaneously at one of our favorite restaurants. (Chef Julian creates amazing pork dishes with our heritage wooly pigs — magical flavor indeed!)
Partygoers lined up more than a hundred strong outside Barbareno to sample Chef Julian’s Cuban-inspired Mangalitsa pork sandies – melt in your mouth delicious!
Meanwhile, Winfield Farm, in partnership with Larder Meat Co. (owners Grace and her husband Chef Jensen Lorenzen are Bruce’s niece and nephew), offered tasty bites featuring Winfield pork meatballs skewered with grapes and dipped in Chef Jensen’s special sauce, and guanciale cured for us by Alle Pia skewered with pineapple chunks, all grilled on Jensen’s yakitori grill.
The party at Barbareño was a grand success in multiple ways: Edible Santa Barbara magazine’s summer issue received a royal sendoff, Barbareño gained even more acclaim as one of Santa Barbara’s most innovative restaurants, and Winfield Farm helped spread the word about The Larder Meat Company’s new Larder Club — a CSA-style monthly meat box that features premium quality beef, chicken and pork from local sustainable family farmers. Of course the pork in the box is Mangalitsa from Winfield Farm.
All in the Family
We’re delighted to participate in the Larder Club, the creation of Chef Jensen and Grace, whose venture has struck a chord in the local community, as memberships have soared in their first month of operation from 32 boxes to 70 and growing. Each membership is called a “share”.
Here are pertinent details from the Larder Co. website:
WHAT’S IN THE BOX?
[Members] will receive a 12-13 pound “share” of locally sourced and sustainably raised meats. This will typically include the following: 8 lbs of Beef (mixture of steaks, roasts, and ground), 1 whole chicken (3-3.5 lbs average), 1.5 lbs of Pork (1lb of ground and a half pound of Bacon), a recipe card with preparation tips and at least one “special item of the month” like brine for the chicken, steak rub, or my favorite baste sauce. This share is intended to be a one-month supply of locally raised meat for a family size of 2-4 people.
WHY IS IT CALLED A SHARE?
As a member of the Larder Meat Co. your money is going directly to local Ranchers to purchase whole animals. After processing at a USDA Certified butcher, each animal is divided equally amongst the members. Think of it as purchasing stock in a publicly traded company, but with much tastier options and a better ROI – feeding your family in an environmentally responsible manner and supporting our Local Food Economy!
Here’s how it works:
1. WE FIND THE FARMS THAT DO IT RIGHT
2. YOU PLACE YOUR ORDER ONLINE (WE CURRENTLY HAVE ONE OPTION, $199 FOR A 12-13 LB BOX)
3. WE DELIVER A CURATED BOX OF LOCALLY RAISED MEATS TO YOUR DOOR ONCE A MONTH
4. YOU CHECK ‘MEAT’ OFF OF YOUR GROCERY LIST AND COOK DELICIOUS MEALS THAT YOU CAN FEEL GOOD ABOUT!
Check out the Larder Meat Co. website for more information.
Here are some scenes from Barbareno’s Edible Santa Barbara summer release event.
Bruce Steele explained Winfield Farm’s sustainable solar-powered farm practices, including natural GMO-free feed, to produce top quality Mangalitsa pork
A happy guest enjoys a taste of magic — Mangalitsa meatball with grapes
Grace Lorenzen (on right), co-owner of Larder Meat Co., explains how the Larder Club works – a monthly meat box delivered to the community and featuring sustainably raised local beef, chicken and Winfield Farm Mangalitsa pork