Saturday, 13 December 2008

Being my own butcher

Sorry folks, I got distracted by garden stuff and forgot to update you on being my own butcher! I don't mean actually killing anything (for the squeemish....and the general euphemism for this is "processing") - I just mean turning big hunks of lovely pork into meal size portions.

First - here are my lovely hunks of pork - shoulder and loin/belly

So out come my trusty books - Hugh's meat book, and my John Seymour and my Carla Emery - for a quick crash course in pork anatomy!

A quick cut to the loin section and already we have something that looks familiar! Then it's off with the ribs, and slicing loin chops/steaks.

Mmmmmm ribs! And the belly bit went straight into a dry cure for bacon

I cut the shoulder into a roasting joint for slow cooking overnight in the oven, and the rest I diced to use in casseroles and tagines.

Then it was the leg of pork. Oh My - 10.5kg (!!) of roast and hammy lovelyness-to-be. But 2 people don't need a 10.5kg ham or roast - and besides, I don't have a pot big enough, so it's time to get he serious kitchen tools out - a hacksaw!! (with a new cleaned blade, or course)

et voila! It already looks more manageable. 1 ham down, a ham and 3 roasts to go! You can see one roasing joing on the black tray.

Once I'd cut and bagged 3 roasts I was left with my 2 hams - and into Hugh's West Country Cider Cure (ooooh aaar) they went the next day. Cider cured roast leg ham is on the menu this Christmas.


And the best bit? All this pork came from the piggies we were looking after for King Valley Free Range - tasty heritage breeds that have lifed a happy piggie life with room to run around, dig around, wallow, eat apples, acorns and chesnuts, and do all those things piggies like to do.


Anonymous said...

Hey Margo
Great post.
I agree that those piggies had a great life!
Enjoy your Christmas dinner- I doubt whether many folk will ever connect with where theirs comes from or how it was reared.
Rachel :)

Anonymous said...

Please can you give the quantities used for your brine mixture, thank you.
Happy Christmas

Anonymous said...

OMG That looks bloody beautiful! Audrey is pregnant so we'll have all this (and the 'processing', ewww) to look forward to.
Great post Margo, will be picking your brains in future I think.
PS You've obviously come back pumped from the PDC!

elizabeth said...

I was going to ask how the butchering went, so now I know LOL!! It all looks did it taste?

Margo said...

It tasted fantastic - of course!!!!!!!!!! We're having the last of the loin "steaks" tonight for dinner. Next time I will do better as I got Hugh's pig in a day dvd for my birthday. HURRAH!

e said...

I have that DVD it's great!

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