Monday, 24 January 2011

The pigs had lulled me into a false sense of security, and after a day or two of lolling around in the stable came out like a couple of raging bulls when we were hoping to lead them quietly into the trailer. The plan was to make the whole thing as stress free as possible so as not to send them off agitated. Actually the pigs were fine - but decided they would rather root around in earth again than stick their heads in a bucket.
After a lot of pushing and coaxing and in Neils case, rodeo grabbing and being dragged across the concrete yard (thats Neil not the pig) we finally got them in. I think we were all far more stressed than the pigs, who had a lovely bed of straw and buckets of feed to munch on before the last journey.

Later I went to work and Neil and Keith headed off to the abbatoire. The pigs were duly dropped off and a few days later the boys drove back to the butcher to pick up the meat.
Apparently the butcher pulled a large trolley into the reception, like the ones shelf stackers use in the supermarket. There were seven massive boxes full of meat on the trolley. Keith and Neil were amazed at the amount of meat, but then the butcher headed back to get a second trolley, once again loaded with pork. We ended up with 228 kilos of meat.

Although the meat was all chopped up, it was still in unrecognisable cuts of meat as far as we were concerned. Neil, Keith and Margaret chopped it into portions and joints and bagged them all up and yesterday we all got back together to sample our first piece of home raised piggy. I am glad (and a tad relieved) to report that it was absolutely delicious, which is just as well as we could be eating it for some time.

Would we do it again? Well I think it would be more economical if we bred them and / or grew our on foodstuffs for them, or at least sourced some cheaper feed. I'm not sure. I think this year we are going to concentrate of raising some ducks and geese and not have any more large beasts for a while. But never say never!!

Oh and by the way, although we had requested that the butcher left the skin on the joints, we were quite suprised to find almost a box full of the skin. Has anyone any ideas as to what to do with it or how to treat it? We want to use every part of the pig if we can. Just a thought.

Some pics of Keith, Margaret, Neil and myself making 'pigs' of ourselves on our first tasting of the meat!


  1. I would never have had enough freezer space to cope with that lot!! Guess you had some idea in advance how much room you would need :) From the facial looks it was obviously delicious, I am sure it must taste better than bought.
    Can you not tan the skin and use it like leather? Pig skin shoes, gloves etc. Diane

  2. Pig skin?
    Here it gets simmered and chopped fine and combined with green veg...spinach...and potatoes.
    I have an italian recipe in which you take strips of the skin, cover them with a mix of black pepper, ground cloves and nutmeg, then roll them up and put them in the pot when you slow cook dried beans.

  3. That pork looks soooooo scrummy! As for pig sking, the only use that springs to mind are for gloves. Not a lot of use, but maybe you could make a really unusual handbag?

  4. As usual Neil is excited by the recipes Helen and I am thinking ummmm....how does one go about tanning leather? time to hit Google again methinks!!

  5. Nothing like hope produced meat is there Roz. We are ploughing our way through our lamb, and I feel distinctly different when I am cooking and eating that to when I am eating meat which I don't know the source or because it has come from a supermarket. Glad the pig experience has been a good one for you though, and glad the meat was delish.

  6. No, it was good Vera - I'm trying to negotiate some swops with people who have raised lamb and beef - otherwise we could get distinctly fed up of pork!!

  7. Know what you mean, Roz. We have lots of lamb still to get through, but I want to buy a mincer so I can extend my recipe-file. Are you doing bacon?

  8. No, we aren't Vera - we just dont have the time or (to be honest) the knowledge of the meat that came back from the butchers!!

  9. Just found your blog, will spend a little time reading and look forward to commenting on what I read.

  10. Thats if it doesn't send you to sleep first lol!!
    Thanks Roz, still seems wierd to hear from people with the same name as me!!


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