Friday, 25 February 2011

Telling Porkies

So, today we collected our half pig, and spent 5 and a half hours with Shirley teaching us how to convert it into the cuts we wanted.

What a great day!  I'm exhausted, my back aches; and we're currently still going, as we're making brine to cure a ham and the head.

First we learned to cut the half carcass into the four primary cuts.  This was relatively easy to do.  Having said that, if we decide to butcher our own half carcass next time (if we live long enough to eat all this pork and need a second half), I'll ask her to break it into the primary cuts as 4 pieces are much easier to move than 1 complete side!

SHirley had sent us some information in advance and had asked us to think about what sort of things we wanted to get from the side.   So, faced with the 4 primary cuts (belly, loin, leg, hand), we went through the things we had decided.

Belly:  one part for roasting,  one part for bacon
Hand: top part - shoulder - for roasting,  bottom part -  hand - for roasting
Leg : part to be used to make our own ham; rest to be processed into cubes or mince
Loin: 9 huge loin chops;  rest of loin processed into cubes or mince (we could have had more chops, or made bacon; but only DH eats pork chops,  and we alrweady had a load of belly for streaky bacon).

As we processed the bits,  we had a bowl for "sausages",  a bowl for "mince", a bowl for "diced", a bag for "lard",  and a bag for "rubbish".     

Of the parts mentioned, we ended up with:
Mince: 1.4 kg (bagged in 250g or 300g packs)
Chops: 3.4kg]
Diced: 2.7kg (in 250g or 300g packs)
Offucts for sausages: 4.1kg
Leg (for ham): 3.4kg
Hand (for roasting): 3.525kg
Shoulder (=spare rib joint for roasting): 2.95kg
Hock: 626g
Belly (for bacon) 1.630kg
Belly (for roasting) 1.9kg
Loin Joint (wither for roasting or breaking down to make diced/minced pork: 1.9kg

In addition I have as yet unweighed fat, for larding;  half a head, for brawn;  and 2 pigs trotters.

We're currently making the brine to deal with the head and the ham;  and we'll shortly be dry curing the belly for the bacon.

I'll write more when I have more information.

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