Friday, February 4, 2011

Bringing Home the Bacon or Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap


The pig is in my freezer.  Well some of her is in my belly.  Nom, nom, nom.

Tuesday morning Limey's new bff came over to show him how to butcher a pig.  Although Limey wanted to do the deed himself he didn't have a gun license and there was some concern over making a clean kill.  The friend took his time to get the perfect shot at Checkers.  She was not stressed out at all and it was over instantly.  They tried to collect the blood in a barrel but it was awkward being knee deep in snow and all.  The carcass was put on a sleigh and skidded to the garage where it was skinned and hung.  Once the pig was gutted and cleaned it was cut into two and left to chill.

The original plan was to kill on Tuesday and cut on Wednesday but with the temperature being so frigid they did the cutting Tuesday night.  Wednesday was spent refining the cuts and processing the goods.

In addition to all the regular cuts, we kept the following; blood, liver, heart, kidneys, fat, tongue, tail and hooves.  Waste not want not.

Limey purchased an electric meat grinder/sausage stuffer the day before and with it I attempted to make black pudding.  It was a total failure.  We spent hours trying to get the machine to stuff the sausage but it just wasn't having it.  We had more stuffing on the floor, walls and ourselves than was in the casing.  Better luck next time I guess.

Out of the 139lbs of usable meat here's some of what we got;


Sweet Italian Sausage

That's a lot of bacon!


The salt pork is already changing colour.

Pancetta has to cure for a week.

Liver and bacon pate.

Mmm pork chops.

We had pork chops for supper on Wednesday and they were fabulous.  They had a little more texture than grocery store pork because Checkers had so much room to run around in.  No flabby muscles for her.

Emotionally everything was fine.  Limey said "it was one of the most fascinating and educational days I've had in a long time!  It feels really good to know exactly where your food came from, how it was grown and what was entailed in processing it."

DD1 went back and forth between being upset and gung ho about the entire thing.  She helped Limey cut up the pieces and cure the bacon.

As for me, I was surprisingly nonchalant about the entire thing considering I hold a 13 year grudge against my brother in law for killing a chipmunk and slapping it across the windshield of the truck I was sitting in just to make me cry.   Anyhoo it's all good.  We do miss having a pig around.  The chickens are happy now that they have their scraps back.

When April arrives we will definitely be expanding our pig concern and if all goes well we're thinking about doing a butchering workshop in the fall.

So there you have it.  Piglet to pork in 5 months.


  1. Ah, the circle of life -insert Lion King theme- ;-)

  2. Wow, I'm so jealous. I can't wait til we have the space to raise more than chickens!

  3. That's awesome and from experience, the sausage will get easier to case the more you do it.