Northern Ireland’s first fresh pork chorizo launched

Corndale Charcuterie, based in Limavady in Co Derry, has launched Northern Ireland’s first fresh pork chorizo product. 

Still in its infancy, the company was only formed earlier this year by Alastair Crown. The new product is formed using his herd of free-range Saddleback pigs and his own chorizo recipe.

“While my chorizo uses traditional ingredients – pork shoulder, paprika, garlic and salt – I’ve created a different taste by adding my own blend of spices and herbs such as fennel,” said Crown.

“In addition, I’ve developed my own curing technique for what is an air-dried product. It’s quite a spicy chorizo, which I’ve trialled with family and friends, as well as local chefs. Their feedback has been immensely encouraging. They reflect the growing knowledge of chorizo in Northern Ireland that’s being shaped by local people experiencing and enjoying chorizo during holidays in other parts of Europe, especially Spain and Italy.”

The chorizo product is already being used by several restaurants in Northern Ireland and has garnered interest from the region’s delis.

“The only additive in the chorizo is a very small amount of salt,” he added. “My objective is to develop as natural a product as possible, one with provenance and total traceability, using Saddlebacks that I raise and are allowed to run free and forage for themselves on the farm.

“The feed regime includes a rapeseed cake sourced from a neighbouring farm. I use only natural casings for the sausages.”

Although he is a university graduate in computing from Glasgow, Crown is currently a part-time farmer on a smallholding of around 10 acres. “I’ve always been interested in rearing pigs. I enjoy working with them and have plans to extend the herd by adding other traditional breeds such as Gloucester and Tamworth.

“I’ve currently 50 pigs in the herd, including a Duroc crossbred boar, well-suited to outdoor pig production.”

Crown now has plans to add to the range by producing air-dried tenderloin, pancetta and pork belly meat, salt-cured and spiced with black pepper.

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