The Dairyman's Heritage Pork and Butter
Tweedies Gully Road, Lyndoch SA
0414 851 812
Michael Wohlstadt had a lifelong dream of becoming a farmer and at the age of 12 he had moved to the Barossa region with his family. By the age of 23 he had his own Jersey herd.
Thirty five years on and the typical Australian dairy business model is no longer sustainable for him. Michael now uses the Jersey milk to feed his pigs, which also graze his pastures and are fed local grain that he crushes on the farm. As far as Michael is aware his is the only milk-fed pig herd in Australia. Most recently he has extended his paddock to plate model to include artisan butter, as well as bespoke farm accommodation.
The pigs are heritage breeds – Berkshires and Tamworths. They produce a very moist and tender meat, partly due to the breed type, but also environmental factors – they live a life of very low stress, are grown slowly, get plenty of exercise, and have a very wholesome diet. “It is a meat that is highly responsive to what you feed it and the environment,” Michael said, “and you can see the result in the end product.”
Michael is proud to be part of the revival of mixed farming in the Barossa that has gradually been lost over time. The farmer’s labour goes into growing food and producing meat, milk and fibre, all on the one property.
The Dairyman’s Heritage Pork is marbled, with enough fat that is soft and creamy, and which easily renders during cooking. The meat suits slow or high temperature cooking and stays moist, tender and flavoursome. It’s all down to the milk diet, complemented by the free-range life that the pigs lead, and the character of the heritage breeds.
Every Saturday morning, Michael sets up his stall at the Barossa Farmers Market. Customers order large and special cuts ahead of time, but there’s plenty on offer for those just wandering past, too. There’s tender shoulder, the perfect roast for four or more people, which is just as delicious served up cold the next day. The loin cutlets are perfect grilled and the belly and can be used with flavours of Asian, crispy barbecue and spicy confit. And if you’d like a whole suckling pig for a special occasion, Michael’s your man. The Dairyman’s Butter is also available.
Michael also smokes a lot of his meat – perhaps it’s the influence of his German parents. Bacon and ham are very popular or try the Kassler loin cutlets, made with the traditional Barossa German recipe. They’re just perfect served with boiled potatoes and red cabbage or sauerkraut. The salted, slow cooked and red gum smoked leg ham, on or off the bone, will remind you of what ham used to taste like.
Michael’s Jersey cows and the Berkshire and Tamworth pigs live a good life under Michael’s careful eye, and you can truly taste the love in all of his produc