So much grinding. I use the grinding attachment for one of my Kitchenaid mixers.
I have to say that this has been a hugely successful harvest. At first I thought, gosh this isn't enough meat... but then at the end of Grinding Day I realized we had more than enough. Our new freezer is a bigger one so it didn't look as full as I thought it should be... but then I also remembered that we have 42lbs of ham and bacon that will be picked up from the butcher next week.
Now we can just kick back, have some sloth, and relax until next summer.... HA! You're right, you know me too well. Are you kidding? Sit around? I have things to do! I swear these extra couple of minutes of daylight are an absolute blessing.... I can't wait to get outside.
In the meantime, here are some links about past Meat and Grinding Days:
Meat Day Results
Making Chops and taking off the bacons
Lard n stock
More on bacon
How to brine and smoke a ham
Pancetta - how easy is this to make?
Can you part up half a hog? Sure! Why not? Get some good knives and then watch this (video #2), I love these guys.
Sometimes folks ask how they should portion up a half a hog - usually when they are getting it from a butcher. The answer is.... how do you usually use it? What do your normally buy? Also - get what is easy for you to make for dinner. Don't try and have "special occasion" meals only. This way you'll really use it for everyday meals and it won't just sit in the freezer.
For us, big roasts are just kind of a waste. There are only two of us so a big roast is just kind of silly. To be honest the both of us just really like meat fried up in a pan - and pork chops. So a good portion of the shoulders are just cut up into "stew meat" sized chunks and portioned into one pound freezer bags. These thaw out quickly and then can be used, for stew, stir fries, or just... meat lighted floured, salt and peppered, and then fried up in a pan. Easy peasy.
We use ground pork like folks use ground beef - for burgers, taco meat, etc. So we have a lot of that also. And since the secret is out that sausage is just seasoned ground meat... we don't make sausage on Grinding Day. We just thaw out a pack of fresh ground pork and season it when we need it. Mostly we like bulk sausage, not links, so this works out.
I portioned out the ribs so that we can do them up in our favorite way. The one mistake we have made is try and "save" them for a special occasion. We end up forgetting. So my goal is to make these ribs before the 1st of June.
The one thing I'm doing differently is that I'm not making stock right away. So I put some of the big, meaty bones into the freezer. We'll see how this goes. I might forget about them... but I'm hoping that I'll use them for making stew. I hope I remember.
I'm glad we have put this Hog Harvest to rest. Now I can go about the business of getting prepped for next year.
Happy Tuesday everyone - are you finally done with all your meat processing?