Eating a Pig

So we’ve butchered our first batch of pigs in 16 years. Picked our half up from the locker Saturday morning and are eating our way through each cut to see how it turned out. I’ve been nervous about it, about how our customers will react. We want people to feel that they’re getting a superior product, that they’re getting their money’s worth. Heritage pork is definitely different than the “other white meat” of today. It’s pink instead of white, and has more marbling. Based on what we’ve eaten so far, we’re very happy with it.

The first surprise was how big they were. They looked small to me, 260 pounds at the most. But one of the barrows weighed 260 pounds hanging, so live weight was somewhere around 340 pounds. 340 pounds in 6-1/2 months!

The report from the locker was that they had a very thick layer of backfat on them, the bacon was fairly fatty but the rest of it should “eat good”.

So we tried the brat patties Saturday night. Excellent flavor.

Bacon for breakfast Sunday morning. Yes, it was fatty, but if you like crispy bacon it did crisp up nice. And the fat is different than what’s on bacon you’d buy in the grocery store. It’s a whole different color and texture, and just tastes better.

Pork chops for Sunday night supper. Wow. The intra-muscular marbling was beautiful. Tender, juicy, the first chop I’ve had in a long time that didn’t taste like compressed sawdust.

Tonight it was ham for supper. I think this will be the cut our pork is going to be famous for :)

Later this week we’ll try a regular pork roast.

Edited to add: Originally, in that first sentence up there, I said “in almost 20 years”. For some reason that bothered Matt and he made me put in the exact number of years since he had hogs – 16. So I will point out that I was actually still in high school 16 years ago, at the time he was raising that batch of pigs. So there, that’s out of our systems now.

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3 Responses to Eating a Pig

  1. Glad the pork tastes good.And thank goodness you cleared up that thing about the years, tee,hee..

  2. Glad to hear the pig project came out well. We raise pigs too, on pasture. Our next batch will go to the butcher this winter. Our customers have commented the same thing you noted – the fat is much better on our pigs than on the store bought commercial pork and the meat is pink as opposed to white. They say the flavor is most excellent and I must agree. Tomorrow we go to pickup a side for ourselves from the last batch.How much do you sell your pigs for? We are located in Vermont near the capital, Montpelier, and do $350 for a whole pig, $225 for a half pig and $150 for a quarter pig. We get $65 for piglets.

  3. Walter – we sold this batch for 73 cents a pound, hanging weight. So that’s around $80 for a 110-pound half. That does not include processing. Our customers pay the locker directly for processing. Processing for our half was $84. Does your price include processing?That price may change once we figure out our actual costs versus what we projected. It’s always tricky to figure out the first time around. And also as we build a reputation for good meat that’s different than others around, as we’ve done with the beef.