Today was all about lard and leavings. Remember that there's two kinds of fat on a hog - leaf lard which is fat surrounding the organs. Than then there is the rest of the "regular" fat that is around the outside of the hog. The leaf lard makes the most amazing baking lard for pie crusts and pastries. And the regular fat is good for everything else.
I used Big Onion's grind and render method and wow did I get great results with the leaf lard. The rest of the fat did OK. However I ended up with a kind of weird blob of fat-leavings. When I cut up the lard I got pieces. The pieces are good for us because they are easier to feed to the chickens. The best thing about having lard - besides having lard - is the leavings to feed to the poultry. Talk about a great source of protein and calories! Mix with some cracked corn or scratch and the hennies will eat it up.
My biggest stock pot was full of bones-n-stuff.
The next thing I worked on was the leavings for the dogs. I trimmed the bones and such generously so I'd have more for the dogs. I cooked several really big pots of bones and such. And also the kinda gross stuff. You know.. hearts and kidneys and the like. I ended up with a rich broth - and all the meat. We have some very happy dogs.
Dog snacks went into jars
And finally I worked on pate. I love pate..oh liver.. I love you in the wurst way...
Liver pate was spooned into jars
If you don't have it, run right out and get a copy of Ruhlman's Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing...he's got some great stuff in there. I loosely used his recipe for pate. Mixed it all up, and cooked it in a hot water bath - in pint jars. I'll put them in the freezer and anytime I want a little lovely liver, I'll have it by the pint.
I still haven't gotten to curing the bacons - so that's on the agenda for Thursday. Whew! This has been a ton of work but its also been a lot of fun. Of course, it was kind of a weird day for anyone to call me. Most folks know better to ask me what I'm doing - some of the answers are met with long awkward pauses. Or sudden hang ups. Today the answers to "whatcha doin" were:
1. Cutting up pigz hearts and stuffing them in jars of blood broth
2. Stirring a big vat of fat
But even that didn't scare someone off the phone. So I started telling them that about the soon-to-be liver pate that was seasoning in the fridge. And how The Big Man thought it was a bowl of cranberry sauce. You can imagine how that went. (He just covered it back up and put it back in the fridge - at this point he knows better.)
Happy Thursday everyone! Go meat!