Pastured pigs are a completely different animal than those raised under industrialized factory operations. When animals are given an opportunity to live, eat and graze under the sun on healthy pasture, their meat and fat will symbolize the type of food us humans used to eat thousands of years ago.
Skip ahead to recent times, and you will find that most people in the field of nutrition will not look at pork as a health food. I agree if we are talking about confinement animal production, but there is good news. If animals are raised under the natural rhythms and cycles of pasturing and daylight, we will inherently be doing the same when we eat them.
By ignoring the weird nitrate added, bakery-waste fed, vacuum packaged stuff, and seeking out trustworthy local farms, we are supporting practices that offer us the most when we sit down to eat. Thanks to Hickory Nut Gap farm for providing us with the experience!
*1 Tbsp. unsalted high quality butter, room temp
*1/2 tsp cumin
*1/4 tsp ground ginger
*1/4 tsp dry ground mustard
*1 heaping tsp. dark brown sugar, maple syrup or honey
*1 garlic clove, pressed
*salt and pepper
Mix butter with all ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
Pastured Pork Chops with Apples:
*2 fresh pastured chops
*1 organic gala, pink lady or favorite apple, cored and sliced
Rinse and dry chops. Place a heavy cast iron skillet over med heat. Smear chops with compound butter, reserving a bit for serving. Sear chops in skillet until each side is golden, time will vary depending on thickness of chop. Reduce heat to med/low. Cook though, making sure not to overcook. Remove from heat and allow to rest.
Toss apple slices in the same skillet, and cook until tender. Spread remaining compound butter over chops, before slicing and serving with the cooked apples. Sprinkle with chopped parsley if you have some.
*Enjoy getting your vitamin D from such a delicious source!