A trip to Jimmy’s Farm and lots of great pork ideas

One of the glorious heritage breed pigs on Jimmy's Farm

I spent an intensely sunny and carefree day at Jimmy Doherty’s farm just outside Ipswich this month, meeting his pampered livestock and getting a masterclass in getting the most out of cooking pork.

I’m sure many of you have watched the TV series Jimmy’s Farm, but I was new to his story and found him to be an exceptionally knowledgable bloke, who despite his celebrity status was down-to-earth and very generous with his time.

He spent a good few hours showing our group of food bloggers around his farm and then eating lunch with us, happy to natter and answer our questions.

A rabble of cheeky piglets

While we wandered around the pigs burrowed in the mud to cool off, while the cheeky piglets tore around clearly playing to the adoring crowds. I’ve never seen farm animals with such freedom and quality of life. Jimmy’s Farm is home to 600 rare breed pigs who have loads of space to roam freely, including a lovely wooded area.

I do have a conscience about the meat I eat, especially with a couple of vegetarians at home constantly reminding me about my choice to eat cute animals! Seeing animals given such a good life makes me feel loads better.

It’s also an impressive family destination if you need some summer holiday inspiration… butterfly house, guinea pig town, ferrets, play area, festivals – they clearly know how to please a crowd of little people. It took just over an hour to get there on the train from London so it’s pretty accessible.

So what did I learn?

More people need to eat pork! We need to keep the British pig farmers afloat. I also learnt how to get more value from buying pork with Jimmy’s friend and butcher Joe Allen.

Jimmy and Joe give us the lowdown on cooking with different cuts of pork

We all agreed that going into a butcher’s shop can be an intimidating experience if you’re not sure what to ask for. It’s easy to panic and just go for what you know. But with a bit of know-how you can halve the amount of money you spend on pork.

For example if you ask for Chump End – you’ll get a beautiful hunk of lean meat on the bone which is brilliant for slow roasting or for chopping into chunks to thread onto skewers for yummy kebabs for the barbecue. This is a lot cheaper than the more familiar shoulder or loin cuts.

Cooking with ribs is also brilliant for the summer and SO cheap. In fact Joe told us that some butchers just chuck the sheets of ribs away so if you’re cheeky you might even get some for free.

I took some away with me and experimented with a sticky basting sauce and the results were delicious. You can see the resulting recipe I wrote for the fab Parentdish website if you fancy giving it a try.

Arlo and I thoroughly enjoyed gnawing on them – a great meaty meal for little ones to get involved with that makes a change from chicken drumsticks.

The vegetarians of the house were nowhere to be seen....

If you want more inspiration about cooking with pork, then head on over to the Put Pork On Your Fork website for loads of ideas

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About Katie Bryson

Katie Bryson is a freelance food writer and blogger. She left a career in online news at the BBC to immerse herself in the culinary world, taking in courses at Leiths School of Food and Wine and an internship at Waitrose along the way. Her family food blog www.feedingboys.co.uk is bursting with recipes and tips for feeding hungry families that’ll help inspire all those frazzled parents out there wondering what on earth to cook for tea! She lives in West London with her two young boys and yes, her firefighter husband.
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10 Responses to A trip to Jimmy’s Farm and lots of great pork ideas

  1. Michelle says:

    What a great day out. And it’s always nice to know your food’s been well looked after before it arrives on your plate. Pigs in particular are very smart and individual. Next time you’re in the North East you should come visit out friend’s organic farm. They also do special evenings where they show people around, offer some cooking tips and a butchery demo, then treat everyone to a feast http://gandsorganics.com/store2.asp?ProdDept=Farm%20Focus%20Dinners

  2. How lovely! I loved the Jimmys Farm shows! What a great day out!

  3. Lovely day out! Great tip on the chump end and I’ll definitely check out your sticky ribs recipe 🙂

  4. Helen T says:

    Can’t wait to go to the farm, as we’re going to Harvest in September, as looking forward to a whole heap of good eating, meeting some interesting folk and picking up some great food tips. Just hope it’s as glorious on the weather front as it looks in your photos, given that we’re camping!

  5. It was a lovely day. I must write my post up, my huge piece of pork is still in the freezer!

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