Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Making Food

First, my disclaimer: The following post contains pictures of dead pigs, both whole and, gutted and skinned. If you find such things distasteful then you are welcome to leave. Otherwise, enjoy the process!

We got started around 9 am on the 25th. Charlie came down from Wasilla to help us process the pigs and I was glad that I didn't have to do any of the killing. I don't like it (what can I say, I'm a girl). Dad did the deed and I went out to help get them onto the trailer for the trip to the barn.

They decided to do Bacon first, don't ask me why. Dad made a gambrel many years ago to do moose and it has come on very handy. He set a clamp on the I-beam in the roof of the barn and used the come-along to hoist the carcass up.

The chickens were in the big, fat, middle of everything. Because we have no way to heat the water, we chose to skin them. I wasn't happy about losing all that skin and the fat that was attached but it couldn't be helped this time. When the barn is done, our butcher room will have the equipment necessary to scald and scrape. In the meantime, we skinned and the chickens were gathered around trying to peck bits of meat and fat off the hide. I had Dad carve the big chunks of fat off the skin so I could save it for lard.

I was so busy collecting fat, kidneys and liver that I forgot to get pictures of the skinning, gutting and splitting process but I'm sure you get the idea. I had to go in and make dinner while they were doing the smaller pig so I didn't get pictures of that one either. oops

Here are the feet, leaf fat and, as "luck" would have it, the missed testicle from Pork Chops. I can't believe that happened! When a boar is raised in confinement and fed a commercial ration his meat is usually so rank that it is inedible. Sped, our first pig, was this way. Mom couldn't stomach the smell of it cooking, I didn't care for it but Dad just ignored it and plowed through the entire pig by himself. Gah!
I couldn't smell anything on his fat, he was raised on pasture and was not fed a commercial food so I was hoping that he wasn't tainted.

When rendering lard (or tallow for that matter) you need to put a little water in first so the fat doesn't scorch before it starts to melt. This was the leaf fat from the bigger pig that I rendered the first night. They didn't take any fat off the second pig until it came in to be butchered. I got a little over half a gallon of rendered lard the first night. Some was leaf lard and some was regular lard.

Dad was pointing out the various cuts and asking me if I wanted them reduced a little more. Some primal cuts are fine as they are, some need to be made into final cuts. Here we have a couple roasts that were left as they were, a shank and the ribs/chops.

Part 2, coming soon...


Miss Meshow said...

By "missed" are you saying he was supposed to have been castrated?

alaskan arndts said...

Yes he was. The piggery that they get them from castrate all males. The feed store ordered something like 200 pigs and we got the only one with a ball still attached. I'll do a post on boar taint here soon since our first pig was also a boar.

About Me

We're a family that came to Alaska in shifts. We've been here since 1995 and don't plan to leave any time soon.

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Died on JULY 4th, 1826



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