Today we collected half a Pig from Shirley at WildWoods, to butcher at home. This is the fourth? (or fifth? No, I think it's the fourth.) half pig we've had so in theory we are old hands at it now.
Mostly, it went like a dream, thanks in no small part to my notes from last time. ANd the butchery equipment we asked people to contribute to for our Birthdays last year - it always helps to have proper knives and a saw. We had a bit of a Moment when trying to deal with the Hand/Shoulder primary cut, and we had to watch the video I took when we were being trained. It went well.
The shed freezer is packed. The house freezer and fridge are bursting at the seams... 3 Kilos of meat for sausage is chilling in the fridge waiting to be minced; the two cuts to be turned into bacon are in bags in the fridge; the eye of loin for lonzino is in a bag in the fridge.
The price of the half pig is increasing each time, which is to be expected the way feed prices are going. Out of interest, this time I looked at the price per kilo of the various cuts at the place we used to buy our pork from (Butts Farm Shop, South Cerney), and totted up what we would have spent buying the pork we produced. This porker was excellent value... although I'm not taking into account the time we spend doing it. It's not a chore. If it was, we'd stop.
Excluding the fat for lard, some spare ribs, bones for stock, two trotters for gelatin, and some skin and fat to make scratchings, we produced:
1.5kg lean mince
3.0 kg diced pork (should have put more into mince really)
3.0 kg for sausages (which will make more than 4.0 kg of sausages)
1kg back bacon
1kg streaky bacon
1x cured lonzino (unweighed)
1x2kg (bone out) ham
1x1.4Kg Belly joint
1x1.2Kg Belly joint
1x2.4Kg Hand joint
1x2.2Kg Shoulder joint
1x1.9Kg Shoulder joint
1x hockjoint (unweighed)
I don't eat roast loin or roast leg of pork (eating that as a child put me off pork for most of my life), so most of those were used in the diced pork and mince. I use diced pork a lot in things like curries, instead of chicken; and I use pork mince along with beef mince in bolognese, chillies and meatballs.
I like to use Jamie Oliver's slow roast pork recipe, and I use it for all our pork roasting joints. It produces succulent, delicious pork; which is great the next day cold and the day after that in fajitas or in chinese pancakes in the style of crispy duck; and after that, if there is any left, ground as ravioli filling or sweet and sour pork filling.
Yum yum, bubble gum.