This whole animal's various cuts are evenly distributed across each Iron Age Pork Box:
This Iron Age Pork Box will comprise between 12-13kg of expertly-butchered cuts, packaged individually, ready for the freezer.
We are not butchers, we are farmers. We therefore kindly ask customers to pay upfront in order to ensure that, once its ready, we are not left with meat unsold. Parcel Force collect from us on Monday, for delivery to you on Tuesday, at a cost of £6.75.
For the duration of their life, our pigs roam free in a large area of fenced woodland, their natural habitat. Whilst a commercial pig is allowed to live for only 4 months, our Iron Age pigs enjoy a full 9 months of natural life, during which time they develop their exceptional flavour. This slow-growing porker will taste delicious and are unlikely to have tasted British pork like it!
In the 1970’s the BBC approached the late Joe Henson, founder of the Rare Breed Society (and father of Adam Henson of Countryfile fame), to create a breed of pig that was reminiscent of the first generation of domesticated pigs developed by early farmers during the Iron Age, nearly 4000 years ago. At that time, the earliest pigs were domesticated strains of the wild forest pigs that roamed the European and Asian continents known to us as Wild Boar.
The purpose of this new breed was to produce a breed of pig which not only looked like the earliest domesticated pigs, but which also tasted like them. The breed selected to be crossed with the pure Wild Boar was the Tamworth, a breed that is thought to be the most typical breed descended from the old indigenous species, the Old English Forest pig.
The Tamworth pig that we know today originated in Sir Robert Peel's Drayton Manor Estate at Tamworth, Staffordshire, after the existing herd was interbred from 1812 with pigs from Ireland known as "Irish Grazers", that Peel had seen in Ireland in 1809. It has maintained its status as the oldest breed because at the end of the 18th century, when many native breeds were 'improved' by crossing them with Chinese and Neapolitan stock, the Tamworth was not deemed fashionable and hence was left alone. It is now therefore the oldest pure British breed, first recognised as a breed in 1865 and registered by the Royal Agricultural Society in 1885.
Because it was a long-backed pig, the Tamworth was bred as a bacon pig, as opposed to the Chinese-crossed traditional breeds (Hampshire, Berkshire, Gloucester, Essex, Wessex, Yorkshire, Large White, etc) that were bred for their meat and particularly their lard, which was the principal cooking fat before vegetable oils became popular at the end of the 20th century.
By crossing the pure Wild Boar with the Tamworth, this has enabled Iron Age pigs to reach a killing weight in about half the time of a pure Wild boar, whilst retaining much of the full flavour of Wild Boar. Notwithstanding, Iron Age pigs still take 8-9 months to mature, whereas a domestic pig takes half this time and consequently has much less flavour.