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December 15, 2008
The Cure Handcrafted Charcuterie
(Scroll down for more photos.)

(Directly from the press release.)

Shortly after Fuel Restaurant opened in January 2007, Robert Belcham sourced out the best quality pork available in BC from Sloping Hills Farms in Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island. He began performing all of his butchery in house from whole animals, which allowed Robert and his kitchen team to offer incredible whole roast items and house made charcuterie. The house made charcuterie gained immediate popularity from Fuel diners and quickly became a labour of love for Robert. With a new charcuterie facility in the works (to be housed in the kitchens at Campagnolo), Robert will continue to supply Salt Tasting Room and other restaurant and wholesale accounts in Vancouver. The Cure Charcuterie is also a major staple of the menu at Campagnolo Restaurant and Fuel Restaurant.

“The incredible quality and flavor of Sloping Hills pork made it very easy to start making our own charcuterie. It is a part of our culinary philosophy to utilize every last morsel of the animal, too show it the respect it deserves. Charcuterie allows us to make something wonderful out of something that would not usually be used.
- Robert Belcham

Here is a list of some of the most popular items that Robert has been making:

•    Dry Cured Ham
•    Confit Duck and Foie Terrine
•    Foie Gras Torchon
•    Dry Cured Fennel Pollen Sausage
•    Dry Cured Garlic and Pork Sausage
•    Pork Rillette
•    Bourbon Maple Bacon
•    Confit Pork Shoulder
•    Fresh Sausages
•    Coppa
•    Lonza
•    Smoked Duck Proscuitto
•    Guanciale
•    Lardo
•    Cottecchino
•    Pig’s head Pancetta
•    Lamb Bacon
•    Pork Boudin

About Sloping Hills Farms, Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island

Our mission (Dirk Keller and Birgit Graf) is to provide you the most delicious pork you have ever tasted. For five years now, we are passionately giving all of our animals the life they deserve. Preserving the environment and promoting agricultural diversity is the key to the success of our farm.

Our production is different from most other pig farms: Our pigs are allowed to roam freely, socialize, and engage in instinctive pig behavior such as rooting, wallowing and foraging on certified organic land. All breeding animals live in social groups, even the boars are together with the sows all the time. There are no teeth clipping, tail docking or ear marking. We leave our litters together to avoid stress and fighting and our sows are not crated. Instead, they give birth naturally, and raise their young without interference. With some sows we practice group farrowing, where sows give birth together.

All animals have free choice access to outdoors at any time. Sunshine, fresh air, good feed and a stress free environment eliminate the need for any medications. No animal by-products are used in our feed except for occasional milk and hard boiled eggs. No hormones or antibiotics are given to our pigs at any times. We grow everything on the farm that makes the difference in our pigs’ diet and with that the quality of our pork. Our farm has no waste issues, manure is returned to the soil where it becomes fertilizer.

Our breeding stock consists out of Landrace (white), Duroc (older breed, brown) and Berkshire (heritage breed, black) pigs which we pure and cross breed. Berkshires are on the list of rare breeds of Canada.

Our pork is selected to have a high percentage of intramuscular fat, like a choice steak. The pigs are slaughtered at 5 months (6 months for Berkshires), compared to the white pork you find in Chinatown and the like which are normally slaughtered at 6 weeks. You can expect a different texture of the meat, darker colour, more marbling and better flavour compared to any conventionally raised pork
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