Tag Archives: farming

The divine glory that is pork belly.

Yes, so. I know pork belly has been one of the “it” foods for a while in foodie circles. I’ve had it in a restaurant or two. I’ve liked it. I liked it enough that when we had our first pig butchered in the fall of 2011, I asked to have some un-smoked pork belly set aside for me. The same for the second pig we had done last year, yet I just never got around to cooking it…until now. With another pig to pick up next week, I have to finish off some of the older meat in the freezer (which is still all in perfectly fine shape thanks to the excellent sealing/wrapping from our butcher). So I decided it was time to brave the pork belly.

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Life and death on the farm…

Pigs on the farm

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Pork-a-Palooza II: The Return of the Pig

Fresh pork attack!

With springtime, so it has also come time to have another pig butchered from the farm. What you see here is the end result of one 400+ pound porker – not showing the bags of wonderful pork fat to render down into lard, the massive smoked hams and bacon, smoked hocks and bag of neck bones for making soups and stock. YUM. I cannot wait to get started on enjoying this all. This time around we asked for some different cuts instead of a lot of chopped and ground meat, so we ended up with a massive quantity of shoulder steaks which I need to experiment with cooking in different ways. I’ll post updates as I try different recipes, as shoulder steaks are not often seen in markets these days. But I have a feeling with pork this lovely, they ought to be goooooooood…

Make way for more pork!

rendered lard

Rendered Lard in Storage Jars

My mom just had another one of her pigs sent off to the butcher this weekend – a 400pounder, which means pretty soon I’m going to have a freezer full of a LOT of wonderful pastured pork meat. I’ll also likely have quite a lot of pork fat to deal with, but that’s okay – I’ll start making lard. I learned how to render lard last Autumn when we had our first pig butchered and since then I’ve fallen in love with using lard in all different kinds of cooking. When the fat comes from a healthy, naturally raised pastured pig, lard is actually quite good for you, similar in nutritional benefits to olive oil! Which makes it all the more of a shame that lard has developed such a bad reputation in today’s “health nut” world.

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Have pig, will eat.

So it’s been a while since I updated – such has been summer in South Jersey. I still have Italy food notes to complete and some recipes from my summer garden bounty of tomatoes, bok choy, peppers and eggplant. But today I’ve got something else on my mind: pork. And lots of it. Like, hundreds of pounds of it.

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