Sunday, 29 March 2015
The pigs have more than doubled in size since I first showed you this photo, and today we butchered one of them.
I wish all of our pigs could be butchered here at the farm but the rules state that it's illegal to sell the meat from home butchered livestock. What a stupid rule, so many people would love to know that the pork they're eating has not only had a good life, but a stress free, quick and humane death as well, but there we are, those are the rules made by the big corporations in cahoots with a government department. Just another step to try to take away our freedom of eating pure unadulterated food.
The other two are off to the butcher on Monday and we have chosen a butcher who we trust to do the kill and processing with the least stress as possible to the pigs (and us). I've already told you in a previous blog about the way we train the pigs to walk (run) onto the trailer which makes the trip to the butcher much easier for all involved.
Home butchering is much quicker, no stress on the animals, is cleaner and is most empowering to take responsibility for our own food from start to end.
The process and the killing of an animal is never taken lightly. It has given its life so that we can eat for optimum nutrition, so we respect every part of that life.
The day started at first light and every large pot we own was filled with water and put onto every heating source we have available. Gas stove, wood stove, the old copper and the gas portable camp cooker. Lots of hot water is needed for scalding the pig in an old bath as soon as it has been killed.
This time we had the help of a young couple who are also growing their own pigs and are keen to learn to process a pig for themselves. We four made a great team and all went extremely well.
So this is the pig that we will eat for ourselves. It's hanging in our cold room for five days before we cut it up into chops, roasts and bellies for streaky bacon.
The fat will be rendered into lard for use in cooking and soap making.
The head and liver will be made into brawn and traditional Barossa white pudding.
The bellies will be soaked in salt and sugar brine for a week before cold smoking in Brian's home built smoker. This bacon contains no nitrates and it keeps best if cut into half kilo pieces before freezing, then slicing it as we use it.
This covers the cost of buying the piglets, the upkeep and the butchering fees, so the pork that we get to keep for our own use is free.
In the next blog I'll tell you how we make the brine for the bacon, and bacon bones for delicious winter soups.
Are you butchering your own pigs? Do you have any tips for us or any methods you would like to share?