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Putting pork meat in the larder.

pitw

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#1
To start with I ain't a professional meat cutter or butcher of any sort. What I'm posting here is just our way of being prepared for any survival situation and mostly is just the way we live. I ain't saying any of the following is the right way but it is my way and the way I teach young folk or old folk who want to help. For this project I had 3 16 year old's who had never done it before as helpers, I was totally impressed with the way they dug right in. If you can take something from this I'll be happy as I never learned any of this from the internet but by hands on with mistakes over the years.
In order to put good meat on the table we raise our own with no growth hormones or medications. We do give the hogs coal to chew on in order to fight worms and they do sound funny crunching on it.
At the start of the session you wanna start with well rested and unexcited hogs. These are raised outside so they actually grow hair.


As I see no reason to show the killing and sticking I won't but here is one leaving the pen on a tractor I bought 16 years ago for $2,227 from the local MD.


From here it's over to a hot bath to make scraping easier, the water has a can of ash's from the wood stove added to kinda/sorta make lye in order to help cut through the outer layer of skin. Notice the high tech water heating equipment.


Then the lads[3 are ours] jumped into action with a zest I wasn't ready for but appreciated.


4 minutes by my count and they were to this point.


Flipping said hog over for the other end to get bathed[Barrel is to short and I'm to cheap to get a bigger one].


Every lad got to take a leg off at the joint with a knife so they know how it's done.[I detest pig feet so I can throw them to the dogs].


With no guillotine we resort to a knife and saw.


They then figure out how far up to split the brisket without hitting the innards.[This is a great lesson]


They learn how to cut around the anus and laugh embarrassingly at the female jokes.


Out comes the innards [wife didn't get a pic of the liver and heart and thanks to that and my mouth I'll be enjoying popcorn on the couch tonight].


We check the spleen for a forecast on the silver trends for the year[actually it is a way of telling how the winter will go but I figure it is a much better PM forecaster].


Next the small intestines are harvested for making sausage.


Then the 12 year old wash's the carcass prior to splitting.


Splitting is easy with a saw a fellow found in the dump and sold to me for $20[I had to put on a new cord] and the first time I used it my BIG Swedish neighbor smiled so hugely as it went through a 1,400 lb beef in 26 seconds. He always got the job of running the hand saw and immediately loved this Jarvis wellsaw 444.


The smallest of the 16 year old's and the one who had never been around any kind of butchering grabbed a half to take in for hanging[Impressed the [L] outta me I can tell you.



The pork will hang until Tuesday[I think it will take that long to set up properly at the temps we are currently experiencing for good cut up] when I and my family will make it into meal sized pieces. The ham/bacon curing will start then as well and if there is any interest I would show a pictogram[or whatever you call this stuff as well].

My wife cooked up 10 pounds of roast beef, a two galoon pail of potatoes, half a row worth of peas/carrots and all the fixin's which this crew absolutely demolished. She was grinning from ear to ear watching the food disappear. When I asked how much I owed the the answer was, "Nothing cause what we learned here today should be taught in school and it was a lot more fun than what they teach too". Needless to say I'm proud of these younguns. Remember people when you complain about the new generation to ask yourself what you've done to teach them.

After we got everything cleaned up and the lads returned home to where I'm betting they are all sleeping, my boys and I still had the sausage casing to prepare.
We start by turning it inside out using water and gravity.



Then we scrape the stuff that removes the nutrients from food in the intestines[one of you smart people can tell us what it's called].


Trying to show the stuff that comes off.


Yep they learn this too.


Finished[almost]


Salted and bagged for the freezer until we make the sausage.


A picture of what the sky looked like at sunset cause it was beautiful.


Sorry the post is so long.
 

Goldhedge

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#2
The only problem with this post is it isn't long enough!! :banana:

Love the pictures and descriptions... Excellent!

Only wish I was that age and learning these kind of survival skills!
 

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#3
That was a great presentation.
My thanks button is out to lunch, so THANKS for an education. :thumbs_up:
 

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#4
PITW...............Great post. Thanks for sharing your expertise & experience. :thumbs_up:
 

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#6
What did that spleen tell you about the upcoming winter?
 

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#7
Did you bleed the pig before you dipped it?
 

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#8
Do you do anything with the head? I'm not really into headcheese, but the jowls are a good piece to smoke with the bacon.....
 

pitw

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#9
The spleen showed us that the pig won't be worrying about the weather.:rolleyes: It also was only wider at the start meaning to me that we had a bad start but the rest of the winter will be normal. Looks like PM's will be stagnant as well.

The hogs are stuck for bleeding about 3 seconds after the missile[.22 short] has knocked them down. Sticking is a job that you can read about, talk about or dream about but can only be learned by one method.

Some people catch the blood and use it for blood pudding and such. I on the other hand, don't. Some folk like head cheese and once again I don't. I do like bacon so trust me we make more than we should even though some isn't perfect it's better than none.

Few years back I had my neighbor Joy up helping cut up a couple and she is funny to say the least. As we were cutting a half up for another neighbor[a true blonde], she took the part we cut off with the teats on it and wrapped them, writing on the package,'Bachelor buttons". Blondy cooked them and we ain't never had to cut another for them.LOLOL

To me knowing how to procure good food is far more important than having great wealth as I ain't never seen a good eating chunk of silver. Teaching/sharing this knowledge with the young folks is my way of prepping them for the future[and it sure helps having them to help a doddering old fool when called upon].
 

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#10
Just curious... is wintertime, being that it's cold, the best time to butcher a hog?


I'm interested in any information you're willing to share here!
 

pitw

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#11
Just curious... is wintertime, being that it's cold, the best time to butcher a hog?


I'm interested in any information you're willing to share here!

I'll give this my best shot.
Cold weather has many advantages for butchering.
1). No freaking flys or other bugs.
2). No need for a cooler to keep meat from spoiling[gives a person more time to do stuff without hurrying].
3). In summer I'm busy with other stuff.
4).Heating is much cheaper than cooling.

We usually try to butcher in November so that we have pork to add to our big game in sausage/burger making. This year just didn't work out this way.
I've chatted with fellows in the South a fair bit about this and the one thing we came up with for them to cure pork in a brine was with the coolers you see in convenience stores for keeping pop cool. The ideal temperature is about 34F and needs to be there for two weeks[ham my way]. Being as I do it for myself the temps fluctuate from 30-38[unless we have a real freak heat wave]. The cutting is much easier with a piece of meat that is nearly froze[not froze] as it stays stiff making it like working with wood instead of jelly.
You do know how to make a dog sound like a cat right?
 

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#12
Do you do anything with the head? I'm not really into headcheese, but the jowls are a good piece to smoke with the bacon.....
Watched that show "Meat Eater" this past week. He had a Chef that specializes in wild game. They cooked up a wild boar that had been killed. They made a nice roast type ham, head cheese, fried pork rinds, and sausage. Man, it ALL looked real good. It would be worth the time to watch that episode on You-Tube. I will look for it later today, and post here if I find it.
 

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#13
Good Posts pitw. Unless you have some genetic freak hogs or killing shoats all hogs grow hair. Yorkshires are among the lightest/ fair skin color hog which makes the hair difficult to see until you are up close.

Something I like is to leave the rind on the bellies and hams while smoking. Trimming the rind off after the smoke and frying it up as cracklings makes great snack food.

Great find on the splitting saw too.
 

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#14
Watched that show "Meat Eater" this past week. He had a Chef that specializes in wild game. They cooked up a wild boar that had been killed. They made a nice roast type ham, head cheese, fried pork rinds, and sausage. Man, it ALL looked real good. It would be worth the time to watch that episode on You-Tube. I will look for it later today, and post here if I find it.
Ever try to eat a wild boar? Or even try to cook it?

A sow under 150 pounds is marginally edible. Shoats are OK. A boar makes the house smell of burnt piss when you cook it. You might be able to eat 3 or 4 bites if you're pretty hungry.

I remember the first one I tried. 300 pound black boar, clean and not a bug on him. I thought he'd be good. Nope. Next was a 160 pound boar a friend shot. Just as bad.
 

Usury

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#15
As a very young kid, I grew up on a hog farm. I can honestly say I've never heard of hogs that didn't have hair...LOL. I suppose in some mass-warehouse type farm these days, who knows.

I recall butchering a couple hogs as a kid, but that was over 30 years ago when I was probably 4-5 years old at the time. A couple of questions did occur to me:

1) You say you stuck them right before you shot them, but how long did you let them "bleed out" before you started boiling/scraping?

2) How long did you boil them to loosen the hair?

3) That saw looks interesting....I wonder, would a chainsaw provide similar results?

Thanks for sharing!
 

Usury

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#16
Ever try to eat a wild boar? Or even try to cook it?

A sow under 150 pounds is marginally edible. Shoats are OK. A boar makes the house smell of burnt piss when you cook it. You might be able to eat 3 or 4 bites if you're pretty hungry.

I remember the first one I tried. 300 pound black boar, clean and not a bug on him. I thought he'd be good. Nope. Next was a 160 pound boar a friend shot. Just as bad.
I wonder if brining and smoking would help?
 

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#18
Ever try to eat a wild boar? Or even try to cook it?

A sow under 150 pounds is marginally edible. Shoats are OK. A boar makes the house smell of burnt piss when you cook it. You might be able to eat 3 or 4 bites if you're pretty hungry.

I remember the first one I tried. 300 pound black boar, clean and not a bug on him. I thought he'd be good. Nope. Next was a 160 pound boar a friend shot. Just as bad.
Interesting. I shoot 3 or 4 sows a year, generally 80 - 100 pounders and they taste fine. I don't shoot boars. A couple things I've noticed, you have to drop a pig in it's tracks, period. Hogs that run taste bad. This is true with all game but is especially noticeable with hogs.

Also, hogs that feed predominantly on acorns in the fall taste very gamey. I try to avoid them.

Wild pigs have a stronger flavor than farm raised but we enjoy them. They make fine sausage, chops and steaks mellow with a nice marinade, and the larger cuts are good candidates for the smoker.
 

pitw

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#19
As a very young kid, I grew up on a hog farm. I can honestly say I've never heard of hogs that didn't have hair...LOL. I suppose in some mass-warehouse type farm these days, who knows.

I recall butchering a couple hogs as a kid, but that was over 30 years ago when I was probably 4-5 years old at the time. A couple of questions did occur to me:

1) You say you stuck them right before you shot them, but how long did you let them "bleed out" before you started boiling/scraping?

2) How long did you boil them to loosen the hair?

3) That saw looks interesting....I wonder, would a chainsaw provide similar results?

Thanks for sharing!
1).I don't recall saying I stuck them first and if I did I was lieing. We shoot and stick. We let them bleed until they are done kicking as a kicking critter can hurt bad.
2). The water isn't boiling but hot [160-170F]. Much like having a shave at a barber with hot towels used. We pull the hog up and test how easy the outter skin comes off. A minute or two+ of immersion is all that is required. The really neat think is doing black/red hogs and how they come out as white as any.
3). A chainsaw does the same thing but removes far more product. This saw was designed for splitting critters and I have no idea why they threw it in the trash.[I'd fire someone for that if they survived the killing]

I'm aware all hogs have hair to some degree but if you take a litter and raise 1/2 in a barn environment and free range the other half you'll be surprised at how much more hair the outside hogs gather. I've known people to singe off the hair but I ain't ate often at their places either.
 

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#20
As a fellow hog farmer, I salute you, Sir. :thumbs_up: I, too, raise mine outdoors. I buy them weaned in November and raise them until March. Always believed that a six month old hog had the right amount of lean muscle mass to them and never saw fit to change my mind. We have a couple of single digit nights coming on so will be throwing them some extra straw for their house tonight. I like my hogs and I treat them right and, when the time comes, they treat me right. The reason I never keep any hogs over the summer is that it gets damn hot in the summer where I live. Can't stand the smell of hogs in the summer. Good day to you, Sir, and good for you for passing on your knowledge to the younger generation. :beerglass:
 

Usury

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#22
1).I don't recall saying I stuck them first and if I did I was lieing. We shoot and stick. We let them bleed until they are done kicking as a kicking critter can hurt bad.
2). The water isn't boiling but hot [160-170F]. Much like having a shave at a barber with hot towels used. We pull the hog up and test how easy the outter skin comes off. A minute or two+ of immersion is all that is required. The really neat think is doing black/red hogs and how they come out as white as any.
3). A chainsaw does the same thing but removes far more product. This saw was designed for splitting critters and I have no idea why they threw it in the trash.[I'd fire someone for that if they survived the killing]

I'm aware all hogs have hair to some degree but if you take a litter and raise 1/2 in a barn environment and free range the other half you'll be surprised at how much more hair the outside hogs gather. I've known people to singe off the hair but I ain't ate often at their places either.
Thanks for the reply....I do have one more point of clarification I'd like if you will so indulge. I'm still a little confused on the stick/shoot procedure. When you say you shot them with a .22, I ASSume that you mean you shot in the head (brain)? If so, I wouldn't think there'd be much kicking after that, but perhaps I'm wrong? After looking back again I do see where you said you shot and then stuck...I guess that didn't make a lot of sense to my brain and I assumed it was vice versa. I suppose they kick a little more after the shot than I assumed.

EDIT: Nevermind....a little google research indicates that the animal will often spazz around a bit after a sudden brain injury death. I honestly wasn't aware of that...learnt something new today. :) I went hunting a lot when I was younger, but don't recall any head shots....guess my assumptions were all based on zombie movies and such. LOL

Thanks for sharing this with us all.
 
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pitw

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EDIT: Nevermind....a little google research indicates that the animal will often spazz around a bit after a sudden brain injury death.
Now that had to be the understatement of the year to date. I've seen a pig grab traction and actually launch itself over a fence. It ain't just brain injuries either cause if you ask anyone who has chopped the head off a chicken they'll tell you it can bounce around the whole damb yard. This is one of the reasons people were tied to a board before being placed on the guillotine. On the first ones they tested it on the bodies would sometimes head for parts unknown while spraying everything red. Electronic entertainment cannot possibly enact what realistically happens and it is why I wouldn't show it.
 

Usury

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#25
Now that had to be the understatement of the year to date. I've seen a pig grab traction and actually launch itself over a fence. It ain't just brain injuries either cause if you ask anyone who has chopped the head off a chicken they'll tell you it can bounce around the whole damb yard. This is one of the reasons people were tied to a board before being placed on the guillotine. On the first ones they tested it on the bodies would sometimes head for parts unknown while spraying everything red. Electronic entertainment cannot possibly enact what realistically happens and it is why I wouldn't show it.
Yeah, that was my own preconceptions/mis-info/assumptions....sorry about that. I would expect it with a non-brain shot...I've seen animals run and spazz after shot to death with body shots, but just didn't expect it with a brain shot. I know better now. I should have thought about the chickens...that didn't occur to me, but then again, I don't think of birds the same as mammals...lol.
 

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#26
Oops! Here's the 444 - Your Price: $1,695.00

for $20... you stole it!!


You tired of breaking your animals with a handsaw what to break those quarters easier... Then try this Jarvis Wellsaw great for those tough jobs with that handsaw!!! You'll wonder how have you ever lived with out it!

This Model has a 16" Blade!

This Machine is Setup for Heavy Duty

Specifications Model 444

Drive Electric
Motor Power 2 hp
Voltage 115 Volt (Choose Option: "None" For Standard 115Volt)
Optional: 230 V, 1 phase, 50/60hz
Blade Speed 6300 cpm
Stroke 1.5
Control Handle Single Trigger Electric
Blade Lengths 16 in 406 mm
16" Blade and Support (Heavy Duty)
Adjustable Ring For Overhead Counter Balance Attachment
10' Heavy-Duty Grounded 3 Wire Power Cord
Weight 26lbs.


j-444__95015.1358881287.1280.1280.jpg
 

pitw

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#27
Oops! Here's the 444 - Your Price: $1,695.00

for $20... you stole it!!

View attachment 54465
Thanks for clarifying that. Any saw will do the job and an axe has been known to do it as well. This saw just makes it so easy that a kid can do it. Talking with old timers will inform a person that splitting a beef with a hand saw was one of the worst jobs there was.
Another thing I've found interesting about butchering is the bone density of different critters. Elk have the hardest bones of any critter that we have cut up. They can wreck a blade faster than cement [almost]. Pork has relatively soft bones.
 

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#28
I use a Porter Cable sawsall. Works just fine for home use. If I were running a slaughter house, the above are the way to go.
 

pitw

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#29
I use a Porter Cable sawsall. Works just fine for home use. If I were running a slaughter house, the above are the way to go.
Totally agree but at the price I sure as [L] wasn't saying "NO". There was a 404 sold at a farm auction last spring 60 miles from home and it got past new price in 3 bids. A person has to chuckle at times like that.
 

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#30
Thanks for the reply....I do have one more point of clarification I'd like if you will so indulge. I'm still a little confused on the stick/shoot procedure. When you say you shot them with a .22, I ASSume that you mean you shot in the head (brain)? If so, I wouldn't think there'd be much kicking after that, but perhaps I'm wrong? After looking back again I do see where you said you shot and then stuck...I guess that didn't make a lot of sense to my brain and I assumed it was vice versa. I suppose they kick a little more after the shot than I assumed.

EDIT: Nevermind....a little google research indicates that the animal will often spazz around a bit after a sudden brain injury death. I honestly wasn't aware of that...learnt something new today. :) I went hunting a lot when I was younger, but don't recall any head shots....guess my assumptions were all based on zombie movies and such. LOL

Thanks for sharing this with us all.

I used frangible bullets in an old beat up S&W model 35 -1 in .22cal for livestock. The frangibles seldom went deep into the brain, but fracture the skull and cause a knock-out which kept the heart beating, but immobilized the animal for a quick shackling, elevate, and stick. This prevents any clotting or clogging of blood that can happen with any livestock left down too long or on one side. The less blood left in a carcass the better the meat texture produced.

Learn some animal anatomy especially the livestock's brain case. A bad angled shot makes a mad animal with a bloody nose and once hit harder to stun with a second or third shot, and then you will have to kill it with a shot instead of a blood-letting.

This thread brings back some great memories of my youth. Thanks pitw.
 

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#31
I think it is awesome that you are teaching the younger generation some great life skills. My father and grandfather were butchers and I am in the process of putting a small butcher shop in the corner of my new shed/garage. Still have my grandfathers 4 foot square maple puzzle piece butcher block from the 50's and some of his other meat processing equipment and all of his home grown sausage recipes. I also am teaching a friend of mines sons all the ins and outs of butchering and wild game processing. It is cool to see the young kids start to catch on to it. His boys would rather shoot a small doe or fawn than a big buck. His 11 year old said he wants the little ones because they taste better. What a breathe of fresh air!

BP
 

pitw

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#32
I used frangible bullets in an old beat up S&W model 35 -1 in .22cal for livestock. The frangibles seldom went deep into the brain, but fracture the skull and cause a knock-out which kept the heart beating, but immobilized the animal for a quick shackling, elevate, and stick. This prevents any clotting or clogging of blood that can happen with any livestock left down too long or on one side. The less blood left in a carcass the better the meat texture produced.

Learn some animal anatomy especially the livestock's brain case. A bad angled shot makes a mad animal with a bloody nose and once hit harder to stun with a second or third shot, and then you will have to kill it with a shot instead of a blood-letting.

This thread brings back some great memories of my youth. Thanks pitw.

Have used many guns to put down the animals. People would be amazed at just how far a .22 solid point will travel in a porker. Have found them right at the body cavity.
It also gives me the chance to say I've killed an animal with.




Have used just a hammer many times for the reasons you state above. When shooting the bull with like mined old timers it always amuses me when they get into butchering wrecks. The way people are starting to think I can see the day they'll say I can't do this legally.
 
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#33
Nice pictorial, good job getting the kids involved.

That is quite a saw, we use a sawzall, seems to work fine.

Did you save any of the innards for your cased sausage besides the casing? Im curious to see some of your recipes. Id also be interested to see your curing/smoking procedures. We are in the process of building a smoking setup now.
 

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#34
Wow! Thanks...an actual pictoral of what my dad described to me all those years ago when he lectured us on how not to waste anything.
 

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#35
Thanks for clarifying that. Any saw will do the job and an axe has been known to do it as well. This saw just makes it so easy that a kid can do it. Talking with old timers will inform a person that splitting a beef with a hand saw was one of the worst jobs there was.
Another thing I've found interesting about butchering is the bone density of different critters. Elk have the hardest bones of any critter that we have cut up. They can wreck a blade faster than cement [almost]. Pork has relatively soft bones.
We did the cow with a long blade saws all. Worked fine. Winter time was best as described by pitw.

Guts and such go to the back 40' to be eaten by coyotes. Butchering was done by two family's who raised the cow and took part in the entire process. Good times. Great education by the elders teaching us yougins 'the process. :thumbs_up:
 

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#36
I use a Porter Cable sawsall. Works just fine for home use. If I were running a slaughter house, the above are the way to go.
same here......a sawzall with the appropriate blade will work ..not fancy ..not fast...but doable...beats the heck out of a hand saw..

great thread......
 

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#37
......
.....hammer many times for the reasons you state above. When shooting the bull with like mined old timers it always amuses me when they get into butchering wrecks......
Nice little "Knocker" piece there.

Speaking on wrecks: I had a big old Santa Gertrudis bull in a chute. The chute had an elevated walk on the side. Just as I was about to shoot he threw his head up and the bullet gave him a slight hair part right up between his horns but he went down. I jumped down to shackle his rear leg. As my feet hit the ground Ol' Elmer begins to find his footing and begins to rise up back on all four. I grabbed his ear and was yanking down hard to lower his head and gave him three quick shots square on to drop him again.
My most serious "sphincter pinch" I ever encountered. And the reason I always preferred the revolver over a bolt gun.
 

pitw

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#38
Got up early to make sure the pork wasn't freezing and got my little fire going to make the cutting room a little warmer. Had time to go through some old pics and found the round scrapers I use.

This first one a fellow bought down in the US of A 4 years ago and it is almost useless.


This one I found at an auction sale 20+ years ago and people I can say that older is better.


The lads liked using knives cause I think they figured they were cooler but the old scraper does a much better job in my opinion.
 

pitw

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#39
Got up and lit a fire in the cutting shed at 7am so me and my crew[Donny] could get the three hogs cut up into meal sized chunks and the hams and bacon's ready for the brining process. Donny is 12 and can cut up a hog pretty fair. The first job is to get the half on a table that is of a decent height for using the saw. Then he cuts the hind foot off.



The shoulder came off next at the third rib in a line parallel to the head removal line.


Before we remove the hind quarter[hams] find the artery that feeds the ham blood and make sure to leave the fat on it and plenty of length for later use in brining.


Then remove the ham by cutting in a line between the aitch bone and back bone.


This will leave you with a ham that after a bit of clean up is ready for the brining process.


We now have the center section to deal with.


Remove the loin[he lets me do this].


The belly will look like this.


Take off the ribs and throw them away.


Now we have a belly.


Remove the bachelor buttons and trim for making bacon.


Don't forget that all the trim is used for sausage.


The front shoulder is split into the Boston butt and Picnic. On this particular half due to the learning process of the young fellows learning to stick a hog and a bit excessive blood shot happening I decided to make the picnic into sausage meat[we use a lot of sausage/burger]


Trim the sharp bone on the loin to make wrapping easier as the bone won't stick through your paper[once you've done it you will understand].


Make sure that any glands you find are cut out as they really don't add much good to the flavor.


Trim everything and clean the the meat.[we keep a pail of water and clean rags to wash off blood, singed hair and whatever].


The loin gets made into chops. I got that saw from the local general store when it shut down 16 years ago for $150 and it is the heaviest Fn thing in the country. Unlike some made for home use this thing will not move no matter how hard you push on it and it still works like new.


Scrape the sawdust off.


Trim off the fat and skin[this can be turned into lard and cracklins]


Having the worlds best tape dispenser helps.


When close to done it looks kinda/sorta like this.


The smallest half weighed 97lbs and the largest was 128lbs. We cut and wrapped 214 chops off the three hogs, have 130 lbs of sides ready for brining, forgot the number of 4-6lb roasts, a whack of sausage meat and 190 lbs of hams.

When a person can eat food like this every day that was all raised,prepared here on the place we call home, it is worth it.
 

90%RealMoney

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#40
Watched that show "Meat Eater" this past week. He had a Chef that specializes in wild game. They cooked up a wild boar that had been killed. They made a nice roast type ham, head cheese, fried pork rinds, and sausage. Man, it ALL looked real good. It would be worth the time to watch that episode on You-Tube. I will look for it later today, and post here if I find it.
The show "Meat Eater" that I referenced above, will be repeated this Thursday (1-23) at 5:30 pm Pacific, 8:30 pm Pacific, and the following morning (Friday 1-24) at 9:30 am Pacific. It is on The Outdoor Channel. Channel 605 if you have Direct TV.