Monday, 28 April 2014

This little piggy

Another half pig.

We haven't finished the last one, although we are getting low on sausages.  We decided we'd have one anyway, not needing so many joints gives us the opportunity to try something new.

Unusually, I read my notes from the last 2 pigs.  I had made a note about the cutting order, which we implemented today and it worked really well.  I had also written "home made luncheon meat" and I had a very dim and vague recollection of finding a recipe I had wanted to try.

I can't stand luncheon meat, nor Spam.   DH loves them, I bought him a cash and carry pack of tins and a book of Spam recipes (written by Margeurite Patten!) one year

I looked at my shelves of recipe books trying to work out where I had seen the recipe.  I looked online. I looked in my bookmarks.  And then a bell tinkled, and I went and found a Preserving book which has been an inspiration for a number of strange things, not always successful, over the years.

And there it was.  In the write up, the author mentions their own dislike of plastic pink luncheon meat. So, I was inspired to give it a go.  I haven't made it yet,  I'm waiting for the stock to finish cooking first.  I'll report back.

So, this is what happened this time:

1. DH started with the back leg, cutting the aitch bone part off, and passing it to me for processing into three bowls: lean dice, lean mince, sausage.   Once done, the ham end was put to one side to be dealt with later.
2. While he did that, I worked on the Belly and back primaries, removing the appropriate fat to render into lard
3. DH then moved on to the belly.  We decided to have one belly joint,  and two belly bits for bacon/lardons, which we will also lightly smoke.  The odd ribs came out and we'll have those for dinner tonight.
4. Next, he took the front leg. We decided we'd have the hand of pork as a roasting joint. DH cut this and trimmed it. The rib bits were taken out for dinner tonight.   He then passed me the rest, the shoulder, and the lean meat from this was cubed ready for making into luncheon meat or pork pie.  The less lean meat went into "sausage",  we want a lot of sausages this time, so it won't be wasted.
5. Now the loin.  Some was put to one side for curing, not sure what we'll do yet.   Some for bacon.  The rest passed to me for breaking down into the three bowls.
6. Back to the "ham".  DH cut a good sized ham (a sort of midweek supper  with leftovers size), and I had the rest of the leg to break down.

The fat was rendered into 3 jars of lard. .  The curing stuff was added to the bacon.  The dice weighed, bagged frozen.  The mince was minced, weighed, bagged , frozen. The sausage stuff was minced and is chilling in the fridge.  The bones are being turned into stock, some of which will be used in the luncheon meat.  The trotters and tail are waiting to be turned into trotter stock, for the pork pies.   The ribs re marinating in a bag in the fridge.

All worked well today.

From memory, we have:
1 hand of pork joint (2.5kg)
1 belly joint (unweighed)
2 belly for bacon/lardons
loin of pork for curing
2  loin of pork for bacon
1 good sized midweek piece for ham
5x250g bags of diced pork
2x350g bags of pork mince
1kg of lean shoulder for luncheon meat
750g lean shoulder for pork pie
2.5kg mince for sausages (will make 3-3.5kg of sausages)
2 trotters from which we will make trotter stock and use this in the pork pie
Pork stock, some of which will be used in the luncheon meat
3 jars of lard
A huge pile of ribs for dinner tonight.

The best added-value is always from the home made bacon/ham/sausages/pies, so I really like using as much as is sensible in this way.

Try the French Garlic Sausage recipe in the Sandler/Acton book.

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