Belly and ribs on the left, ham on the right.
That's right, meat. Its meat day!
We butchered the second big pig this weekend and now today is nothing but meat, meat, meat, and more meat, followed by additional meat on the side!
We barely got both halves shoved in our 2 fridges. This is really just the belly - or the middle third of a whole side of pork - and a ham (a back leg). I can already see that I'll have a lot of lard and some spectacular chops! We think the pig ended up being just about 250lbs - which was the upper end of what I could help lift. And when I say "we" I mean The Big Man had to do the hoisting and I just provided management.
I was so glad to get this done. Not only because of the feed costs but also because we've had some colder weather and I was a little worried that the lone pig would be cold. Ha! That pig had a nice big layer of fat and was well marbled. One of my pals, you know who you are, said I didn't need to worry about that pig now because it could be snuggling with the first one in the freezer! Very funny.
Today will be about taking off the fat to be rendered into lard later, parting up the big hunks, and parceling into meal sized servings. I'm going to cure and smoke the bacons myself. specially since I just got Ruhlman's new book, Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing and there is a whole section on pancetta! And I've been swooning since I spotted this smoked porchetta over at The Jacked Up Grill. Does everybody know this guy? You have to check out the meals he's made! Plus he's very funny.
So that's what I'm up to today. I'm working myself up to cure and smoke a whole ham. I think my smoker might just be big enough. But definitely I'll be making a fresh (not cured) smoked ham again. Probably for our turkey day. Rest easy, gobblers, its all about pork this year.
Happy Meat Day... I mean... Happy Monday everyone!