According to Miguel Maestre from Channel Ten’s The Living Room, Byron Bay Pork is the best in Australia. Craig Cook is understandably proud that he is able to sell it. John Singh’s Byron Bay Pork is the fourth profile in our series of Craig’s farmers.
The Singh Family’s Byron Bay Pork
We’ve come a long way from thinking that healthy meat can come from pigs (or poultry, for that matter) who spend their lives crammed into cages in which they’re unable to move and only ever see artificial light.
But “sow stall free” is a buzzword that is just a sliver of the real story of creating fantastic pork.
John Singh’s family company, Byron Bay Pork, produces fantastic pork. And Craig Cook had to explore the whole of New South Wales to find it. He found Singh and his rare black Berkshire and Berkshire cross pigs (the best breeds for fantastic pork) near one of Australia’s world-heritage listed rainforests in Byron Bay.
The Singh family has been farming the Northern Rivers region since 1897 and although Singh began Byron Bay Pork with the more common Land Race pigs, he changed to his rare heritage Berkshire pigs in 2002 because they are a slower growing than other traditionally farmed breeds. Byron Bay pigs are not given any hormones to make them grow faster, so their meat is sweeter, juicier and more flavoursome.
“Like pork was in the sixties,” Singh says proudly.
Pigs, like humans, need a safe, secure place to live that will protect them from the weather. Singh’s pigs enjoy their million dollar views across the the Byron Bay hinterland and Tenterfield tablelands on Byron Bay’s farms, but mostly they like to watch the view from their giant enclosures, which have shade-covers.
And they may be happy in mud, but pigs particularly like rollicking around on hay and straw, and these are whole lot better for them. Singh’s pigs are not given any antibiotics.
Pigs like people. Singh’s pigs are hand-raised by people who care about their welfare and their happiness. Singh and Craig are in one mind about raising happy, stress-free animals – happy pigs, healthy pigs, better meat.
“Stress makes pigs’ muscles tighten,” Singh notes. Raise stressed pigs and you get tough, stringy pork.
Like people, pigs thrive on good food. Byron Bay’s pigs are fed the best – corn, barley and wheat with macadamia meal as a treat.
The best part of the pig? According to John Singh, it’s pork belly. On Channel Ten’s The Living Room on Friday, November 11, Miguel Maestre cooked his favourite Byron Bay Pork belly recipe – for Singh. You can find it here.