Pig Adventures Day 1

This fall, a group of us got together and decided we would try to put into practice our ideas about ethical eating, and nose-to-tail consumption.  We bought shares in a pig and were invited to the farm where the pig was raised to participate in the process of turning our animals into food. We were a group made up of chefs, farmers, hunters, and food enthusiasts.

Monday: Trip to the Farm, day 1
This morning was a cold and wet Monday and 4 of us drove out to the Kawarthas. A small family farm that produces largely produce, some eggs, and occasional foul for consumption, We toured around and got to see how it all works.  Having pigs for personal use was a  relatively new experience for our host, Mark so we were all excited and apprehensive about undertaking the killing and breaking down of  the part Berkshires over the next 2 days .

After giving the pigs a snack of apples we lead them into the barn for slaughter. The 1st pig was shot with a 22, between the eyes. It died nearly instantly.  After they were shot , we moved them to another area for a wash and blood letting. We hoisting the animal by its rear legs and gathered as much of the blood as possible, using a whisk, vinegar and some cheese cloth to prevent clotting.

We set the blood aside so that we could make blood sausage at the end of the day. We then moved onto the next pig. Despite being killed one at a time the pigs stress level remained low, and each entered the pen relaxed. Something I believe each of us, particularly Mark was pleased about.

The next step was to remove as much hair  as we could,  with a blow torch and a dull knife we alternately singed and then scraped the skin to remove the hair.

To prepare for butchering we needed to break the animals down in to more manageable pieces, and the meat needed to rest overnight so that it would be easier to butcher. We removed the head and cut the animal in to ‘sides’ dividing it midway down the spine.

The evening ended with the chef, Kyle creating a sort of custard from the blood using Mark’s local raw milk and own chicken’s eggs.  The ‘custard’ was used to create the blood sausages. We sampled them right away and they were amazing! Sliced into 1/2 inch rounds and fried in a pan, the  sausage had the texture of foi gras–and served with sautéed blueberries and and onions, divine.

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