It is, as himself stated, the killing season. All the livestock we have been raising for the table are now beginning to make its way into the freezer, along with our vegetable and fruit harvests. It is sad in one way, but rewarding in another as the fruit of all our effort is finally seen, and it is part of settling down for winter.
We took the first pig in on Monday, and collected the carcass Tuesday and this week we have been processing the meat.
It’s been a couple of years since the last time we butchered a pig and so once again I had to bone up (sorry!) on what we normally did. We gleaned our information from the internet and books and adapted it to our needs. Last time I even took pictures and this year, I decided to make a butchery section on my webpage for future reference.
We cut the usual roasting joints, boned out the shoulder, made sausage meat, minced pork, hogs pudding and using the offal: faggots – and had liver for our dinner.
The cheeks and ears have been in the brine bucket in the fridge, preserving until time for the next process, and the trotters and bones have been frozen awaiting a moment to make a pork stew.
And all week I have been rendering the lard, cooking up the leaf fat, separating and chilling until I have several pots of beautiful pure snowy white lard, awaiting use in treat pastry or to confit the duck legs.
More to come, and it feels good, echoing many generations before us as we preserve and stash the harvest away to see us through the year ahead.