Bear and The Flower Farm Pork and Mexican Throwdown with Maxi Foods

Often we like to spotlight our producers and those teams and families that work together in order to provide you with the best food in Alberta. This to us is how we rebuild the relationship we have with food as consumers and ensure we are doing the right thing as an industry. 

We are happy to tell you about Bear and the Flower Farm, where we source our pork. It is a small family operated farm that focuses on the health and liveliness of the animals, as well as the environmental impact it has. Their story is similar to many of our other producers wanting to change from industrialized farming methods to a modern and sustainable way of doing things.

Bear and The Flower Farm


Bear and the Flower works with experts to ensure the health of their pigs and feed them a 100% non-GMO plant-based diet to return the nutrients back to you. Not only does a healthy and happy animal lead to more nutrients for you, it also brings better flavour. 

Each pig at their farm has over 1000 square feet of space to roam! That's more than most one-bedroom apartments downtown Calgary…
Imagine how much happier all the people living in those small apartments downtown would be if they had the same space as these pigs.

Sustainable Pig Farming


Pork doesn’t always get the love it deserves, with many people labelling it as one of their least favourite meats. We challenge those people to try pork from us and Bear and the Flower as it’s crazy how finding good quality ingredients really changes how one can feel about certain foods. On top of the benefits it can provide, 1 serving of pork from Bear and the Flower provides your daily intake of Omega-3s. 

If you are one of those people and haven’t always loved pork, Or are wanting to change up your weekly dinners. Try it out with this new recipe below from Chef Kai, we guarantee you’ll enjoy this. 

Mexican Throwdown

Maxi Foods x Bear and The Flower

Having a family of five can present some difficulties when it comes time for dinner. My children range in ages from 9 to 19 years old and they definitely have their own preferences and tastes when it comes to food. I wouldn’t call my children picky eaters but we tend to not stray too far from their favourite meals. We also really enjoy family style eating. We are fortunate enough to have a large kitchen island so we throw everything down in the middle and let the kids go nuts. 

Today’s meal will highlight two of our favourite vendors, Maxi Foods and Bear and The Flower. 

On the Menu

Slow Roasted Pork Butt - Bear and the Flower

Refried Pinto Beans - Grain Works

Romaine or Butter Leaf Wraps - Southern Skies

Corn Tortillas - Maxi Foods

Pico de Gallo - Maxi Foods

Guacamole - Maxi Foods

Jalapeno Cream Chip Dip - Maxi Foods

Sour Cream - Vital Green Farms

Blue and Yellow Salted Tortilla Chips - Maxi Foods

Product List


Now bear in mind, this is a throwdown...we are using a lot of products here and you may even have half of this stuff already. If I were to buy all the ingredients and prepare this meal, it would feed 6-8 people (probably more) and come in around $15/head. This is with leftovers as well!! When you think about a nice family style meal where 90% of the work is done already, this isn’t too bad! 

The other ingredients:


Preheat your oven to 325 Fahrenheit.  Remove thawed Pork butt, pat dry. Liberally (heavily) season your pork butt all over with the Mexican Mystery Spice (save some for the beans!) and lots of fresh cracked black pepper. 

In a large braising pan (Dutch Oven), toss in a sliced yellow onion, some garlic cloves, a couple of bay leaves and add enough liquid (water, stock, beer...) so it comes a halfway way up the roast. Cover with aluminum foil and braise for 3-4 hours or until fork tender. 

Bean Time

If you are using the dry pinto beans, soak overnight in lots of cold water. If using canned, make sure you give them a rinse. 

For Dry Beans

Saute a small diced yellow onion and 2-3 cloves of garlic minced and a tablespoon of Mexican Mystery Spice. Add the soaked and drained beans to the pot and saute for a couple of minutes. Add chicken stock or water to cover and bring to a simmer. Skim the beans of any white foam as they simmer. Beans are done when they are soft to the touch (at least an hour or two).  If you need to add more stock or water during the cooking process, that’s fine. There should be a small amount of liquid left in the pot at the end, don’t let it go dry. Throw in a couple of knobs of butter and mash with a masher or back of a spoon. If you want them super smooth, throw them in a food processor. Garnish with diced jalapeno and or queso fresco if you want. This makes a great hearty addition to any taco or simply as a chip dip. 

For Canned Beans

Do the same as above but only simmer the beans in two cups of water/stock and cook down. 

Heating Tortillas

If you have a griddle or large pan, pre-heat it on medium high, lightly moisten the tortilla with some water and place on the griddle/pan. Heat both sides. 


  • Pull pork from the oven and let rest, remove from the braising pot and shred with tongs, add some of the braising liquid back in to moisten. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Place all the dips and sauces in serving bowls (or don’t and save the dishes!)
  • Pick Romaine leaves for lettuce wraps
  • Shred Cabbage
  • If you want cheese, shred cheese
  • Pick Cilantro
  • Cut Limes in wedges 

From here, it’s a choose your own adventure of how to build your own taco! Have fun with the family and build your own masterpiece. 

Tag us on Instagram and/or Facebook with your Family Taco Throwdown

Leave a comment