Pig. (updated 1st December)

Discussion in 'Geek Food' started by scon, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. scon

    scon Member

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    So this is the second time that we've done this. It works out to be very frugal and worth the time and effort. We have some people who gave us mates rates on a pig so we got the 38kg carcass for $6/kg. The animal is free range and organic so if you do the maths it's an awesome deal.

    I've prepared the beast pretty much entirely for charcuterie/salume purposes. From the carcass we get 2 x hind legs for hams, 2 x bellies for pancetta, 2 x coppas and loins which get cured, 2 shoulders which get minced and turned into sausages and dried, a pile of bones which we turn into about 15L of pork stock and two tenderloins which is the only part of the animal that we eat fresh.

    Butchering probably took 12 hours all up but it's worth it - it's a bit of an educational experience breaking apart an animal like this, something I'd totally recommend more people doing if they have the space and the inclination.

    Anyways, there's lots of pics. I'll reserve a post after this so I can post the results.

    The main reason for this first image is because I love my man-cave.

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    Get your mis-en-place.

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    Separate the shoulder from the rest of the beast by cutting between the 6th and 7th ribs. Remember, saw through bone, knife through meat.

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    Separated.

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    Separate the ham by sawing through the aitch bone.

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    Start removing the whole muscles, this is my wife removing the loin - you can see the belly and then the back fat behind it.

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    At this point it's important for the butchers to remain fed as this is a big job so smoke up the ribs on the bbq.

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    Roast up the bones for stock.

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    And simmer all day.

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    And that was it for day 1. On day 2 (sunday) we cured the meat. This is the cure for the pancetta, salt, bay leaves, juniper berries, pepper, rosemary and garlic.

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    Which then gets applied to the belly.

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    Which looks pretty damn good.

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    Ready for the fridge where it'll sit for a week or so.

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    Next up is the coppa, which are the neck muscles.

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    Use the "salt-box" method to dredge them.

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    And some pepper added also.

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    Next is the loin, which is actually the same muscle but further down the pig.

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    This gets cured with lots of oranges are garlic.

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    Coppa and Lonza are ready for the fridge for curing.

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    This is the first time I've cured a leg - this will be an air-dried country ham. It wont be ready for another 9 months.

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    Packed in loads of salt and ready for the fridge.

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    Assemble sausage making equipment.

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    Lots of mincing into a bowl in the sink with lots of ice surrounding it - it's imperative to keep everything as cold as possible at this stage.

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    Put in the mixer to emulsify and mix through all the extra ingredients.

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    Start stuffing that sausage! This is a Sauccison Sec, a french dried sausage flavoured simply with garlic and pepper. We're also making dried chorizo.

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    Sausages done.

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    And hanging in the space under my house.

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    So that's where it stands at the moment. The first thing to be done will be the sausages which will be ready to eat in 3 weeks. The last thing will be the ham which will be ready in 9 months.

    First update:

    This is what the sausages look like after 2 days hanging - can see the red colour coming through from the action of the sodium nitrate on the meat.

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    Second Update (1 wk after initial curing):

    So time for the coppa, lonza and pancetta to come out of the fridge. First up the cure gets washed off, then:

    The coppa gets coated in sweet and spicy paprikas, pepper and cayenne.

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    The lonza (loin) gets coated in toasted, crushed fennel seeds.

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    The pancetta goes in naked, but poses first.

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    And it all gets loaded into the curing fridge - which uses a STC-1000 for temperature control and a WH8040 and a pond fogger for humidity control.

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    I'm not sure how I'm going to fit two more legs into this fridge but damn, it's looking pretty good in there at the moment.

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    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013
  2. OP
    OP
    scon

    scon Member

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    First round of completed food.

    Stock - probably made about 8L of concentrated delicious porky stock:

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    And a french country style pate. Had some ground shoulder and various other trimmings from the pig, chicken livers, pate spices, brandy, cream, parsley - lots of good stuff - this was about a 1.5kg pate.

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    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013
  3. waksimus

    waksimus Member

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    interesting, thanks for the pics!
     
  4. Catweazle

    Catweazle Member

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    Nice write up.


    I'm kinda crying a little bit inside, coz that's a nice looking carcase and I really love fresh pork, but I thoroughly enjoyed the read nevertheless. :)
     
  5. sgtraven

    sgtraven Member

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    whoah!!!
    nice work there
     
  6. J-C90

    J-C90 Member

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    Nice work! Did a whole free range pig myself over the weekend, but spit roasted - a bit less work!

    I have the head in the freezer awaiting a recipe for brawn or head cheese - you ever done that before?
     
  7. OP
    OP
    scon

    scon Member

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    Yep, I've done head cheese. I did something similar to this recipe.

    Next time I get a head I'm keen on making porchetta di testa using a recipe similar to this one.

    But if you want to only use the jowls, Guanciale is awesome and easy. This is one I made:

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  8. mmBax

    mmBax Member

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    Looks fantastic, what'd the pig cost you?

    Can't wait to see results.

    Jealous of that man cave as well, impressive.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    scon

    scon Member

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    All up it was just shy of $240 and we'll be eating it in various forms for the next 10-12 months or so. Though we're going halves in another in about April.

    I think 2 pigs would keep us "in pig" for the year.
     
  10. J-C90

    J-C90 Member

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    ..awesome! Will look into those a bit later. Trying to use as much of it as possible, that porchetta di testa looks bloody good!
     
  11. renagade

    renagade Member

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    You're mental.

    And I like it.
    Excellent work, very jealous.
     
  12. Kommandant33

    Kommandant33 Member

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    Wow! Good work!

    And what a wicked set up!
     
  13. l3git

    l3git Member

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    nice, but a tad freaky setup also.. something out of a horror movie? :lol:
     
  14. Tekin

    Tekin Member

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    wow - good work!

    A mate and I have spoken at length about doing this - just don't have the space to do it comfortably, and the wife approval factor of having sausages hanging in the living room might be...

    well tis a tough sell.

    Incrediably jealous though, looks amazing.
     
  15. OldnBold

    OldnBold Member

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    Nice mate .. I love your man cave too :thumbup:
     
  16. Amfibius

    Amfibius Member

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    That's awesome! I'm envious, I don't think I have enough space to butcher a pig even if I had the energy to do so. And then I don't have enough space to keep the meat. You're a lucky man scon!
     
  17. munchkin1

    munchkin1 Member

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    Very awesome :thumbup:
     
  18. sgtraven

    sgtraven Member

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    Book me to n for the next one
     
  19. OP
    OP
    scon

    scon Member

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    The next update will detail the curing fridge, which will be both humidity and temperature controlled. If you can find a cheap fridge it's about $100 extra to add the functionality and means you can keep it at ideal temperatures/humidity all year round. No sausages in the living room neccessary (unless of course you're into that kind of thing and who am I to comment on that ;) )
     
  20. mmBax

    mmBax Member

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    What kind of temperature do you keep the fridge at scon?
    And more importantly how are you controlling the humidity?

    My fridge, when I'm doing brews it turns into a water puddle within the week, so very curious.
     

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