Cut from the shoulder, the Pork Butt is perfect for throwing in the slow-cooker and coming home after work to a delicious meal.
Mark Faille didn’t mean to become a farmer. He was just a mechanical engineer living in Virginia when, in the 1990s, long before the local and organic food movement gained steam, he started worrying about the chemicals and pollutants present on the food he was buying at the grocery store. He didn’t want his family ingesting harmful chemicals, so in his spare time, he started raising some produce and livestock of his own. He started handing some of that pork and other meat out to friends and neighbors, and it tasted so good they kept coming back and asking for more.
“At some point,” Mark laughs, “I had to tell them, ‘hey, this is costing me a lot of money. Eventually I’m going to have to start charging you.’”
So that’s what he did -- he quit his job, sold his house, bought a farm, and moved his family to live on it full-time. He started by raising chickens, then added heritage breeds of pigs and cattle. Early on, discerning restaurants in Princeton caught on to what Mark was doing with small-batch, pasture-raised meats on his farm, and approached him to buy for their dinner menus.
“That was really helpful early on,” Mark explains, “because those chefs could tell me what was good and what was not quite as good. Their advice and their feedback helped to get us where we are today.”
Where they are today is pretty awesome: Mark and his family own several parcels of land across New Jersey and Virginia; and it’s on their Virginia farm that they and farm manager Travis Kitzmiller are raising heritage pigs on non-GMO feed. The pigs -- including Mangalitsa and Berkshire breeds, along with several other less common heritage varieties -- live entirely outside except for the retrofitted barns they can move into if they want, when the weather gets stormy.
The meat is firm, moist, and full of porky flavor. You’ll love it.