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With a hunger to learn more about where our food comes from and the smell of smoked pork wafting through the air, I sat down for dinner with two local pork farmers. Our lovely meal was catered by Sweets and Meats BBQ, during which local pork farmers opened up about their farm, best practices and shared their insider tips for making the perfect pork loin. I even divulge my ever popular toddler pork meatball recipe. This post is sponsored by the Ohio Pork Council.
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the majority of pork in our local grocery stores are produced by local farmers. Therefore, when you buy that pack of pork chops or ground pork you are supporting Ohio Pork Farmers. One of the farmers indicated that the pork industry never sleeps. Piglets are born day and night and don’t care if it is Christmas, New Years or any other holiday. After a piglet is born it takes six months for them to become fully grown and weigh in at a whopping 270 pounds.
As the pigs grow many precautions are in place to keep the animals from falling ill. Anyone who enters the pig barns is required to shower before they go in and upon exiting. This includes all staff, family, and guests to the property. With pork being raised indoors now it is vital that diseases are kept out. Heavily regulated diets and environments that create consistent and healthy pigs is a top priority. Even the air in the barns is circulating every 30 minutes. Local farmers take great pride in providing customers with a quality product and it shows in their daily routines.
Tips For Cooking Pork Loin From Local Pork Farmers
The one part of the pig that is often overshadowed by crispy bacon is the pork loin. The loin is the most affordable part of the pig and is downright delicious with the proper cook. A pro tip by the local farmers is to let your pork loin rest after cooking. Take your pork off the heat at 140 degrees and let it rest for five to ten minutes. It will rise to the 145 degrees which is recommended for a pork loin. Don’t be concerned if there is a bit of pink in the middle, that is ideal. Find great pork loin recipes here.
Sweets and Meats BBQ
If you haven’t ventured to Sweets and Meats BBQ located in Mt. Washington you are missing out. After sampling mouth-water ribs, juicy pulled pork and tasty tenderloin, I was ready to head back the next day. Everything they make is from scratch and treat yourself to the sweet potato casserole. It is a recipe handed down from the owner’s grandmother.
Surprise your family with a tasty pork dinner one night with their great carry-out options. They often sell out of brisket, ribs and other crowd pleasers so get there earlier than later. They also have a food truck that makes its way around the city selling their porky goodness! From pulled pork to a slab of dry rubbed ribs Sweets and Meats BBQ has the perfect pork dish for you! Whether it is a quick dinner, a graduation party or a wedding they have you covered. Learn more about Sweets and Meats BBQ and check out their menu here!
Toddler Pork Meatballs Recipe
With all this talk of pork, I had to share one of my go-to recipes. After a long day of travel or activities, the mere thought of cooking has me reaching for the nearest carry-out menu. However, toddlers don’t care if you have just ordered food, they want to eat immediately. That is when having frozen meals like these toddler pork meatballs saves the day! In a half-hour, you can have a bag of pork meatballs ready to freeze for a quick and easy toddler meal. The recipe for our toddler pork meatballs is quite simple. Throw all the ingredients in a bowl, mix, and bake in mini muffin tins until done. That’s my kind of recipe!
Ingredients for Toddler Pork Meatballs
- 1 pound of Ground Pork
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
- 1/4 cup Breadcrumbs
- 1 Egg
- 1/4 cup Applesauce
- 2 tsps Garlic salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Rosemary
- 1/ tsp Oregano
- Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
- Divide into mini-muffin tins
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or until they have reached an internal temperature of 165 F.
- Let cool, serve and then place remainder in freezer bags.
Place in the microwave covered for 20-30 second or until warm.
Pin Toddler Pork Meatball Recipe For Later
Looking for more local farms? A visit to Alpaca Paradise is always fun for the whole family!