Get the most out of your Kunekune pork with these creations from Chef Steve Wilson

Meet Chef Steve

My name is Steve Wilson and I’ve been working in professional kitchens for almost 40 years. As a child I got started cooking in the kitchen with my grandmothers and just never stopped. I’ve been a Red Seal Chef since 1996 after studying and working in both Canada and the United Kingdom. Over the years I’ve worked in almost every sort of kitchen you can imagine; hotels, restaurants, pubs, bars, golf clubs and resorts. 5 years ago, my family and I left Ontario and came to Prince Edward Island, with no regrets.

I believe in supporting your local community and your local farmers. I’ve helped run farmers markets, worked with local charities and tried to advocate for buying local. This has allowed me to discover some amazing ingredients over the years; unique foods that not everyone is lucky enough to find. The KuneKune pork from Thistledown Farms is definitely one of those amazing ingredients.

Keep an eye here for recipes and cooking tips for KuneKune pork. And if you have any questions, I’m happy to do my best to answer them.

Looking forward to hearing from all of you. Can’t wait to see what you’re cooking too! (Send us pics on facebook and instagram!!)

Chef Steve's Never-Fail Roast Pork Seasoning


  • 1 tsp dry rosemary
  • 1 tsp dry thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp summer savory
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp kosher salt


  1. Place first 4 ingredients in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind until almost powdered. A little texture is fine.
  2. Transfer to a small mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients. Mix well.
  3. Use immediately, or transfer to a sealed container and store out of direct light.

Slow Roasted Chinese Pork Belly Bites



  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp Chinese 5 spice
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp garlic hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 2 lb skinless kune kune pork belly, cut in 2″ cubes


  • 1 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp garlic hoisin
  • 1 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce


  • ¼ cup chopped chive or green onions


  1. Stir marinade ingredients together until well combined.
  2. Toss together with the pork belly and transfer to the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Mix the pork and marinade again and refrigerate for an additional 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 275°F
  5. Transfer pork belly pieces in a single layer to a rack in a roasting pan with at least 2” sides.
  6. Place in oven and cook for 1 hour. Remove from oven and using tongs, flip the pieces and return to oven.
  7. Increase heat to 300°F.
  8. Cook for 1 hour. Remove from oven, flip pork pieces around again and return to oven for 45 minutes more. At this point the pork should be browned and the fat well-rendered. (At this point, it may be necessary to pour off and discard some of the rendered fat.)
  9. While the pork belly is cooking, combine the glaze ingredients.
  10. Remove pan from oven and brush pork thoroughly with the glaze.
  11. Return to oven and cook for 10 minutes.
  12. Remove the pork and flip all pieces. Brush with remaining glaze and cook for a final 10 minutes.
  13. Remove from oven. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with the chives or green onions

Tuscan Hunter-Style Braised Pork Shoulder



  • 1 bone-in Kunekune pork shoulder, roughly 7-8 lbs
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • kosher salt*
  • freshly ground black pepper**


  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut in 1/2” dice
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 lb mushrooms, washed and quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp dry oregano
  • 1 tbsp dry basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 300 ml wine (red or white)***
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (796 ml)
  • 1 cup water


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F
  2. Select a large covered roaster or dutch oven with a well fitting lid for this dish.
  3. Season the pork well with the salt and pepper. Heat the dutch oven over medium high heat
  4. Add the oil and sear the roast on all sides until well browned. Remove from the pot and set
  5. Reduce heat to medium. Add the celery, carrots, pepper and onions to the pan and saute until
    well softened, stirring frequently.
  6. Add the garlic, mushrooms, bay leaves, herbs, salt and chili flakes. Continue sauteeing until the
    vegetables are well softened.
  7. Add the wine and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Allow to simmer until
    the wine has almost reduced away.
  8. Add the tomatoes and water. Place the pork back in the pot. The liquid should come about 1/2
    way up the side of the pork.
  9. Increase heat to high. Bring to a boil. Cover and transfer to oven. Cook for 2 hours.
  10. Remove from oven. Remove lid. Flip pork over. Cover and return to oven for a further 1 1/2
  11. Remove from oven, Test pork by piercing with a fork. There should be almost no resistance at
    all. If the meat is still a bit tough, return to oven for a further hour before proceeding.
  12. Remove pork from pan and let rest for 20 minutes to cool slightly.
  13. Using a knife and fork, remove all bones from the pork as well as any large pieces of fat or
    gristle. These waste items can be discarded.
  14. Return meat to pan and make sure that it is all below the surface of the liquid.**** Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and transfer to refrigerator and chill overnight or for up to 2 days.
  15. Remove from fridge. The fat will have solidified on top of the surface. Remove as much fat as
    possible and discard. Remove the meat from the liquid and set aside. Remove bay leaves and
  16. Heat liquid over medium heat, stirring occasionally. While the liquid heats up, cut the pork into
    1”-1 1/2” chunks. Return the meat to the liquid and allow to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring
  17. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  18. Serve alongside simple buttered pasta, sprinkled with parmesan.


* You will frequently see chefs insisting on kosher salt in recipes. However, if you don’t have it at home, it’s not the end of the world. The truth is, the table salt we all grew up with is fine. It does have a very slight iodine flavour to it, but not to the point that you’ll notice it in most recipes. However, if you’re substituting table salt for kosher salt in a recipe, always use a bit less. Because kosher salt has larger grains, there are more gaps in between them, which means a teaspoon of kosher salt actually has less salt that a teaspoon of table salt. In any recipe, it’s always best to be delicate with the seasoning. You can always add more, but it is difficult to take salt out of a dish. (But not impossible!!)

** Another ingredient that chefs like to ask for is “freshly ground black pepper”. Once again, unless you’re cooking in a high-end restaurant, nobody is likely to know that you just used the ground black pepper from your spice shelf. When pepper is freshly ground, it has a more potent flavour as the essential oils have not had a chance to dissipate. But it’s not that big a deal.

*** I always laugh when I see a recipe calling for “3/4 cup off-dry riesling” or something similar. The truth is, in most recipes, the variety of wine will make little to no difference, especially after it has been cooking for 3 hours. So use what you have. I’ve heard people say that you shouldn’t cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink. The only reason that this is true, is because most recipes won’t use a full bottle, so make sure the rest is something you want in your glass!!

**** Braising is an amazing technique for producing meltingly tender meat. However, it is vital that the meat be allowed to cool in the cooking liquid. If you cool the meat separately, it will be dry and unpleasant.

Moroccan Roasted Pork


Spice Rub

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 4 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper


  • 7-8 Kunekune pork roast, either sirloin or shoulder


  • 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 6 oz white wine
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch ground black
  • pepper
  • 3/4 cup (165 gr) butter, room temperature, cut in cubes


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Combine all of the spice rub ingredients and mix well. Rub into pork roast, making sure to cover every surface
  3. Place on a rack in a deep roasting pan and place in oven. Insert meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast, ensuring it is not in contact with any bones.
  4. Roast uncovered until the internal temperature reaches 190°F. If the crust on the pork is getting too dark before the desired internal temperature is reached, cover with aluminum foil, but do not seal the edges.
  5. Once the pork is finished roasting, remove from the oven and cover loosely with aluminum foil for 20 minutes. *
  6. While the pork is resting, prepare the sauce. Grate the zest from the orange using a Microplane or other fine grater.
    You will need 2 tsp. Be sure to not get any of the white pith.
  7. Using a knife, peel the orange and then dice the flesh. In a small saucepan combine the orange, orange zest, orange juice, white wine, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer until 3/4 of the liquid has evaporated.
  8. Remove from the heat and add the cold butter to the pot, 1/4 at a time, whisking constantly. As soon as the first addition had been absorbed, add the next 1/4, and so on. If the sauce begins to cool off too much, warm very gently over a very low burner for a few seconds. Once all of the butter has been added, taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
  9. Slice the pork and serve the sauce over top.


* This step is referred to as “resting the meat”. This period of time allows the juices in the meat to redistribute. If the meat is not allowed to rest, the moisture will be left on the cutting board rather than in the meat. By always allowing roasted or grilled meats to rest, you ensure that they will be as juicy as possible.


The making of these little hand-made sausages was first taught to me by my friend Greg, in his garage in Pickering, Ontario. I share them here with all of you, just as he did with me.


  • 1 kg Kunekune pork, ground
  • 1 kg medium ground beef
  • 3 egg whites
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp parsley flakes
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika


  1. Place ground meats, egg whites, garlic and parsley flakes in a mixing bowl. Mix gently until well combined.
  2. Mix remaining ingredients together. Sift over the meat mixture and mix until combined. Place in fridge for 1 hour.
  3. Line a baking tray with cling film. Pinch off about 1/4 cup of the meat mixture. Using your hands, roll the mixture into a ball, then roll into a sausage shape, roughly 2 1/2” long. Place on tray. Repeat with  remaining meat. Return to fridge for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat a bbq grill to medium heat. Spray the grill grate with vegetable oil spray.
  5. Grill the sausages, turning frequently, until fully cooked. If tested with a meat  thermometer, you’re aiming for 165°F as an internal temperature.
  6. Transfer to a serving platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil for 10 minutes before serving.