Jack Mountain Meats’ samples are the first thing you smell as you walk by their canopy at the Everett Farmers Market. If the smell isn’t enough to convince you then a taste definitely will. Made locally in Washington, their products are made from Pure Country Pork’s pigs (a sustainable pig farm operating in Ephrata, WA). Their wares range from fresh to smoked, Sunday bacon to pork chops. All of their practices are sustainable and humane, which is reflected in the taste of the meat. “It tastes beautiful. They (Pure Country Pork) were the first in the country to get Food Alliance Certification as pork producers. The reason we buy from them is so we can feel good about what we’re doing. It’s a family-owned farm, they’re protecting the environment, they are paying their workers a living wage, and they are treating their animals well. So it’s a best case scenario. We buy only whole pigs from them and we use every bit of the animal,” says Coralie, a representative of Jack Mountain Meats at the Everett Farmer’s Market.
Founded by Chef Gabriel Claycamp, Jack Mountain Meats strives to create the best products by keeping all its key components local. You can stop by their stand at the market and have a perfectly-cut pork chop or smoked sausages ready for the grill back home.
A common question that is asked about their products is if they are certified organic. The short answer is that they are currently not. Organic certification is a time-consuming, expensive process that many small farmers struggle with daily. The long answer, as Coralie explains to us, has to do with one of the products that is fed to the pigs. “They feed all their pork with wheat, barley and peas that are immediately adjacent to where the animals are raised. The only feed they receive that is not certified organic are the non-GMO peas. The other two (wheat and barley) are certified organic. I can’t say ‘Yes, it’s organic’ but it is meeting all the other (Food Alliance Certification) standards,” she says. The pigs are not fed any corn or soy products and all of the feed used is non-GMO.
As for the curing processes, the products are required by law to have some nitrates as a preservative. Jack Mountain Meats uses Sodium Nitrate and is careful to keep it to minimum legal requirements. “We have to do that for the smoked meats in order for them to have shelf stability and be safe,” says Coralie.
Apart from the fresh and smoked meats, they also sell granola and comes ready with plenty of ideas for what you can do with your Everett Farmer’s Market haul. Next Sunday follow your nose, trust your taste buds and bring home local goodness from Jack Mountain Meats.
What to do with that fresh pork chop: Coralie recommends bringing the meat to room temperature. Next heat a skillet on medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, place the pork chop on and sear it for 3-4 minutes on each side. Use a meat thermometer and check the temperature of the meat. As soon as the internal temperature it hits 145 degrees F, take the pork chop off the pan and put it on a plate. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes. The temperature will get up to 160 degrees F while it’s resting. To season, simply add some salt and pepper.
Definitely try: Their Sunday Bacon. It goes fast for a reason.
Edlyn G D’Souza is a writer and the more she says that, the truer it becomes. She has her roots in Goa and Mumbai in India, where she worked as a journalist for 5 years. She now lives in Washington where she writes in her blog egeedee.com, draws cat stuff, never tires of seeing Mt Rainier and dreams about changing the world through her stories.