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.