How to deal with a pig
March 30, 2012, 11:51 am
Filed under: Meat, Philosophical, Pork, Southern

Yesterday I got a phone call from my son. “Mom,I shot a pig, can you help?” said he. You see, he works at a place with a 2000 acre property of hardwoods and a river. There are Pig Issues- feral pigs that are threatening certain parts of the property, and permission has been granted to hunt said pigs. I offered to help him if he shot some, in exchange for half the meat. These pigs, on this property, are fortunate pigs, because it is hardwood forest of oaks and hickories. That means nuts and mushrooms. The pigs have a steady diet of acorns, hickory nuts, sweetgum balls, mushrooms, berries….delicious things that result in delicious, sweet, lean pigs.

You see,however, Thursday is My Day Off. It is the day I do only exactly what I want to do, and never has it included dressing and processing a pig. It never even entered my thinking that this is something I would do on a Thursday. However, I told him I would and so I did.

It was a lovely little sow, about 75 pounds. Perfect! I told him not only would I not process a boar, I would not let him use any of my equipment to do it himself. But this nice little pig, it was covered with thick, curly black hair and was exactly the right size. Not too small (thus causing the desire to roast the whole thing) and not too big (to fit in the smoker).

You see, we all have the philosophy that if you’re going to shoot a wild animal, you must eat it. None of this trophy hunting nonsense. No bucks, no boars.

So, processed it was. 2 lovely small hams (maybe 5 pounds each), 2 lovely shoulder roasts (maybe 2-3 pounds each) 2 slabs of lean ribs, 2 delightful backstraps (those are SO going to be grilled, or maybe I can talk him into grilling one and turning the other one into Canadian bacon), and 2 slabs of what, if this were a fat farm raised pig, would be bacon, but reality is that they are far too lean for bacon, and will be made into jerky instead.

Now, I am going out of town for a week. Otherwise I’d try my charcuterie (non)skills out, however,I am going out of town so the ribs, backstraps and non-bacon are in the freezer until I get back.

The hams and shoulders went into the smoker. That’s right. Within 3 hours of this pig staring down my son and meeting it’s demise, that pigs meatiest parts were merrily smoking with cherry wood and an herb rub. Pictures? Of course not. I was too busy trying to get the other parts packaged up so the dogs would quit looking at it like it was Christmas.

By 5pm, because they were small meaty parts, the meat was done, a vinegary sauce was made, and it was all chopped and tossed and made into amazing pork barbeque, Southern Style.

There was,of course, a bucket of guts,skin, and a head in the bed of my son’s truck. I let him deal with that. His girlfriend, (and this event raised her esteem in my eyes by about 6 notches) never once said “OH GROSS” but instead opined that she’d like to go hunting too, and learn how to dress a pig, and maybe I could teach her how to cook it.

And this is how you deal with a pig. You treat it with respect, and make it as tasty as you possibly can.

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