Thursday, December 15

Processing Day


After it hung in cold air for four days, some friends came over to help us process the hog.



Sean used a reciprocating saw and a meat saw to slice down the backbone. We had trouble with the reciprocating saw getting too hot - you can see the white fat as he cuts in the photo below.


The meat saw, which we purchased at a restaurant supply store and also used on the cow Sean butchered last year, has a blade that easily bends and was a pain to use. We haven't found a better saw option.... but in the end, between the two, it was done.


Friends held the feet while Sean sawed. The carcass next to the hog is a deer, as it is also hunting season here.



We split the hog into sixths to bring inside. The two front shoulders, the side slabs, and then the rear legs.




I found a recipe for a white sausage that I wanted to try. It must have been a poor man's version of sausage, made with oats and traditional sausage spices like pepper and sage and the ground fat from around the kidneys mixed it. We had trouble with it bursting when cooked, but it was very good and tasted just like sausage, even the texture.





The kitchen was sausage central and the dining room was the chopping, slicing and break-down local. We used the KitchenAid grinder attachment and an antique manual one that our friends brought over. We have a KitchenAid sausage stuffer, which stinks and so we bought a 5 lb. manual one from amazon, which works great. While the KitchenAid grinder works quickly, I did not like that it was too loud to talk over, which is not a problem with the antique manual one. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for one.


With three children and five adults, it took about eight hours, from clean kitchen to clean kitchen. We made over eighty pounds of breakfast sausage and salami, thirty-five lbs of bacon, about forty pounds of ham. With chops and ribs and all we got between 180-190 lbs of meat.

After the last post, I received a lot of questions, which you can follow in the comments. If there is anything else I can share, just ask.


Davene Grace said...

Yum! What a rich experience for your family to have...and I could almost taste the good meat you'll be able to enjoy this winter. :)

Once again, thank you for sharing photos; it does inspire me to think further about a hog for us.

I smiled when one of your other commenters mentioned Polyface. Polyface is fairly close to us, and that's where we have bought our chickens and beef. Joel Salatin and his family are very friendly and very helpful; it's a great place and a great way to farm!

Lisa said...

That looks so yummy!
Unforunately home butchering is not allowed in Germany, like home schooling... you see, we definitly don't live in the land of the free ;-)
But Germany is kind of a sausage country... we have so many really good sausages and eat a lot of it.
Your happy-hog-pork sure tastes delicious!
I'm looking forward to hearing more about it :-)

Jennifer said...

Thank you for your informative posts!
We've butchered deer for a few years now and our first elk this year. We've never raised our own pig---I'd love to someday and liked seeing all that you made with it~

Tonya said...

Did you get any lard from it?

Kim said...

When I was a kid we raised pigs one time (one of ours and 5 for friends) and while I was a big cry baby during butchering I do recall that that was some of the best tasting meat I've ever had! We live in the suburbs and I don't think we'd be able to raise one ourselves here.

Besides from the health benefits and learning experience, do you think you got your money's worth?

Me said...

Davene, like many other folks, we've been inspired by the farming of Joel Salatin too!

Lisa, when we traveled in Germany in 2006, we rented a little house from a couple who raised their own birds for meat, so is it just certain animals that are not supposed to be butchered at home? Or were the nice folks we met jsut rebels? :) We ate so many, many good sausages in Germany and still talk about how the majority of the meat section in each grocery store we shopped was mainly pork products. (Also wish homeschooling was legal for those in Germany - if it were, we might be living there right now).

Jennifer, you could totally do a pig butcher, if you've done deer and elk!

Tonya, mmmm....lard! Made a pie crust this afternoon with some of the lard we got from the pig. I didn't weigh it but I'll guess we only got about 10 lbs. We could have made a LOT more but added in a lot of fat to the sausages.