Tag Archives: pork

Nothing to Waste

I wish i didn’t waste any part of my pigs, but there were a few bits of offal I let go curbside, however this time I did take more of the “waste.”
fat trim

all this is fat trim. I also took home a box of bones, kept the jowls, hearts, livers, trotters and sold the ears and one stomach. I used the majority of the “waste” products I believe.

Now the fat has a purpose that is demonized these days: lard. I personally don’t have experience using lard, but I had an abundance of fat and didn’t want to waste my (not so)little Dot. I also have been approached by folks who want pastured pork lard, so i figure it would be good to keep on hand.

First step is chopping the fat up.

Chopping Pig Fat

I tried rendering small chunks of fat and didn’t get all the lard out, so I switched to a meat grinder like your Grandma (Great Grandma for some of you!) had. I still had to chop so it fit into the tiny grinder, but look at those lovely nuggets of fat!

Gound Pork Fat

Next you cook it. some folks start with a tiny bit of water in the pot, but i found it was warm enough outside that fat was oozing out of the little nuggets already. I used a crock pot for one batch, stove top with a heat disperser on the other. Both produced nice white lard. I rendered, strained out the fat and cooked the fat up a second even third time. In the end I got 5 quart jars full and 16 pint jars for a total of: 3 and a quarter gallons of lard! Wow, and I didn’t even use all the trim! I’ll definitely render again.

A Pantry of Lard

After the liquid fat is rendered out you still have little fat nuggets. If you are brave you can fry them up, add salt and its almost like bacon bits! I was very surprised to see my health conscious mother cook up some “cracklins'” and gobble a bowl of fried fat nuggets. Guess you can take a Southern Gal out of the south, but you can’t take out the Southern!

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I live alone, so i doubt I’m going to use this much lard anytime soon, but i will be able to share with friends and family. I’m looking forward to some good pies and biscuits, myself.

Its A Bit More Calm

I had 3 pigs dispatched yesterday. Digger and Ditch were finally weight, though hitting 250 at 7 months is not very good growth in my opinion.

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One last group photo

Dot almost made it out alive again. I had 2 1/2 portions of pigs sold, 1/2 being mine. I wasn’t going to slaughter someone I didn’t have a buyer for. I was almost going to go without my portion and just let Dottie go again..And I would have if she didn’t throw such poor piglets and have so many non-functioning nipples.

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The kind of goofy face that grows on ya. Come to think of it she looks alot like her dad.

Alas for poor Dot my mother swooped in last minuted and said she would take all of her as it would make nice gifts to give.

I don’t have any guns of my own so I had to hire the kill out. Before he got there I gave them a little beer. Ditch got really aggressive and demanded MORE. “I WANT MORE OF THIS STUFF! I’VE BEEN WAITING ALL MY LIFE FOR THIS. GIVE ME MORE! WHERE ARE YOU HIDING IT?!!!” I guess she was a closet alchoholic.

 

 

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Beer! GIVE ME MORE BEER!

 

When the fellow came I gave them all a bit of milk and he shot Dot and  bled her without the other two noticing much. Ditch went next. Dead instantly. Awesome. Then Rosie got wind and started protesting from her paddock so I went and calmed her down and gave her some milk. I guess the last pig wasn’t afraid like usually happens in large kill houses. He was wary, but wasn’t freaking out. The slaughter guy said Digger kinda stared him down and challenged him. Well, don’t challenge a guy with a gun.

It really was a lovely day to go, and it was so calm and quick. It seemed the only one that was any the wiser was Rosie, of course! Well, and the ram. He positioned himself in the field so he could watch, too.

 

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That there is some stink-eye if I ever saw it.

I made use of more of my beasties than I have before. I cleaned a stomach for a customers enjoyment. Much to my surprise it was completely loaded with well chewed grass. Like, 5 lbs grass. I cleaned some ears and trotters, took the testicles for the dogs enjoyment. Hopefully I’ll get to using all of them next time.

Looking at their innards they were very healthy. The fellow was impressed with their health and low worm load: for being on pasture where worms are almost impossible to get rid of once introduced he said they were really in excellent shape. Dot had a nice layer of fat, but not too thick. The boar was the leanest of them all, but I think in better shape than last years boars.

It was also nice to get compliments on my farm from someone who visits them frequently. He appreciated my set up with the hogs outside in good light, had them close to the gate for easy access. Apparently he’s had some adventures at farms less put-together than mine.

Once again, it was a very positive experience and I’ve been able to provide humanely raised and slaughtered, healthy, pastured pork for 5 differently families. Pretty cool.

I got to try something new, too: bbq pigs feet!

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Farmhouse Cooking: Porkchops with Enoki Mushroom Gravy

My cooking usually consists of “what do I have on hand? This will go together!” Tonight was no different. I didn’t think much of my dinner until I ate it. Sorry, its gone. No pictures. I cook for one, measure by eye and taste. Its gonna be a vauge recipe. Deal with it.

 

Porkchops with Enoki Mushroom Gravy

Take 2 Porkchops, preferably from pastured pork, and dredge in

1/2 cup flour, 2 tbs ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp salt.

Toss them in a cast iron skillet with light oil over med-high heat in oil of your choice.

Meanwhile take 2 tbs butter and melt in a sauce pan. Once butter starts to brown add 1-2 cloves diced garlic, then add 1/4-1/2 cups enoki mushrooms cut to 1 inch lengths. Cook for 1 minute then add enough flour to soak up butter. (hows your pork chop looking? do you need to flip it?) Let it brown a little bit then slowly add 1/2 cup dark broth while mixing/whisking the flour mixture. Lamb broth is an excellent choice, but beef will do, too. Let it up to a boil and remove from heat. Salt to taste. Once your porkchops are done cooking set them on plates and drizzle the gravy over.

Yeah, its pretty bomb and takes all of 10 minutes to make. Don’t forget vegetable sides! A plain salad with a vinaigrette is a nice balance to the fatty main course. Of course, you can also never go wrong with pork chops and saurkaurt. Be sure to cook the saurkraut with the porkchop so it caramelizes thanks to the oil but don’t let the raw meat and saurkraut touch unless you intend to *really* cook all your saurkraut well. Food safely, yo.

So there ya go. Simple delicious farm house cookin’