Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sun pigz

This was the pigz yesterday - soaking up the sun.

Sun pigz. Doing just fine. Note the frozen waterer that I had to keep busting open for them.

Today our extremely cold weather broke so instead of being 17* this morning we have freezing rain. Later it will be above 50*. Until it warms up, tho, it's nothing but ice out there.

I can't tell if the pigz would rather have cold, dry, and sunny... or cool and rain. But they did great in the extreme cold. We just made sure they had dry straw in the Hog Hut and just kept pouring on the feed. They never seemed chilled or unhappy. They had plenty of protection from the wind so they just hung out in the sunshine.

But what is this? Why are there only two pigz? Where is the third one?


Ah yes... here is that third one. Looking good!

What? Bacon already? Yep. We ended up butchering the 3rd pig a little while ago. This was the bacon that I made. I didn't think there would be enough of the belly to make any bacon but this turned out really well.

The best part about this bacon is the smokiness - it is like nothing we've had before. I think it was because I used an actual small fire, and very little charcoal. I also used the branch trimmings from an apple tree from last year.

I used the cure for pancetta but then smoked it. The savory spices and the smoke work really well together. We use this kind of bacon for cooking mostly - and not as a breakfast side. Altho it fries up really nicely.

I'll share my bacon makin' links again here for easy access. If you are even thinking about giving this a try - just do it! Really. It's a fun skill and is not complicated. The hardest part is waiting for the cure to cure... then you just need to fire up the smoker and give it a go!

Making bacon - I got my cure on!  Lots of pix of the process - including when I started brining a ham.

Bacon makin' and butcher day tools.

What bacon day looks like. The results of smoking our bacon - it was incredible!

Making pancetta.

A fabulous pancetta. See the results - this one was insane. We don't "roll" our pancetta - but this one was a hog so big that it naturally rolled itself! 

If you want just one reference for making bacon at home then immediately stop what you are doing and order Ruhlman's Charcuterie.Hands down this is the best reference for home curing and smoking. Plus I just really like his books.

We've been making bacon for several years now and my best advice is to just try it. You don't need a lot of complicated equipment or special skills.  Can you make bacon at home? Sure! Who told you that you couldn't? I'm telling you that you can!

Happy Saturday everyone! Do you have one pig down and two more to go?

Editors note: Alright, alright, alright... Obligatory notice that there is an affiliate link in this post. What does that mean? It means that I get a tiny portion of the sale when you click on one of the links, go to the Amazon page, and purchase something. It can be anything - books, movies, a cool hat, or something you need from Amazon anyway. It doesn't cost you once cent more but helps me with the "cost" of this blog. If you like this blog, or if I've helped you at all in your farming efforts, just make a purchase from Amazon from one of the links, my store, or the black Amazon search box on the right side of this page. If you use these links THANKS for your support!


collieguy said...

Fine looking pigsters, even finer that bacon.
We have the last picking of heirloom tomatoes ripening in the kitchen, waiting to enjoy blt's in the face of the next Alberta Clipper. Take that, winter.

Vera said...

'One pig down and two to go' ......um.....we have none down and seven to go! Not selling any of our pigs this year, that's why we have seven to do. The three boys in Jan and Feb next year, and the rest gradually throughout 2015. At the moment they are churning up the veg plot paddocks, and doing a grand job.

David said...

that's a beautiful bacon right there

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