NCPaul Goes Whole Hog

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NCPaul Goes Whole Hog

Postby NCPaul » Tue May 23, 2017 1:45 pm

About a year ago, I had the thought that I would like to get and cut up a whole hog. I specifically wanted one that would be good for charcuterie and salamis. I was willing to wait for the right hog and have it come to me when it was ready. After taking a butchery class here: http://www.yellowwolffarm.com/ ,I knew where the pig would come from. I made plans, then I made back up plans, then I made some more plans. I set up two empty fridges in my garage and made space in my freezer. I made a list of how I would use each cut, I dreamed of having good quality backfat. I made sure that the hog would be scalded and split as there are a number of processors around that will only skin the hog and I can tell you they are not concerned about losing fat when they do this. I asked about the pig – too small, then let it keep growing. Again I asked – still too small. Finally, whoa he’s huge now; his hanging weight was 285 # (130 Kg). He was a Kune-Old Spot-Large Black cross. I asked about the reasoning behind this:
“The three breeds all have excellent meat and fat. Kune keeps it a grazing pig with a good disposition plus meat quality and adds thickness to the body. Old Spot marbles well with fine marbling and also has a very good disposition. Large Black has great fat and meat but also the sows produce well and are good mothers. The Kunes are really too small for a commercial pig so I try to cross them with a larger breed. High quality feed, slower growing time and good pastures produce the clean fat for charcuterie and the dark, deep flavored meat.”
However you might think you move something this big, it’s still a struggle. Here are some photos of the process:
The hog (half with head)

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After removing the head, the trotters were taken off; I did this right 2 out of 4 tries.

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Here is the leaf lard from both halves

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It had a clean smell and look due to being well raised. My wife was an angel for vacuum packing for the freezer all the bits as I cut them.

I cut the shoulder primal between the fifth and sixth ribs to give me a large coppa (came out to be 2.5 Kg!).

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The ham was next and it was 28 #s.

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I left the aitch bone in as I am hoping that might help me avoid bone sour later. One ham I’ll try to do as a country ham and one I’ll try to do as prosciutto type. Salted with 1/3 of the cure

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To remove the ribs, I find it best to lean on the spine while cutting underneath to make use of gravity

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Belly trimmed and squared off

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Loin cut for back bacon and the outstanding backfat

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I don’t think I’ll try a whole hog again, but I was glad for the experience.
Fashionably late will be stylishly hungry.
NCPaul
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Re: NCPaul Goes Whole Hog

Postby YellowWolf » Tue May 23, 2017 2:03 pm

Great photos Paul. Thank you for being patient while this guy grew out. His brother became cuts, brats and sweet Italian sausage. One of my favorite crosses of breeds.
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Re: NCPaul Goes Whole Hog

Postby wheels » Tue May 23, 2017 9:36 pm

A fantastic pig and a great bunch of photos. I'm sure the the meat and products will be fantastic.

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