Farewell Pig Pigs

As you know from This Little Piggy Went To… , two of our pigs were scheduled to be culled just over a week ago.

The plan was to separate them from the other two pigs (the ones that we are using as a breeding pair), out of sight in a smaller paddock.

I’m happy to say the whole thing went perfectly. When the butcher turned up, both pigs were asleep so the first went in her sleep and the second went a few seconds later before he even knew what was going on.

For those of you who are new to the ins and outs of culling a pig, after the pig has been slaughtered (in the case of our two – a shot to the head to kill, then a clean stab to the heart to bleed them out) they then need to be scalded. This involves dunking the pigs body in really hot water (as the name suggests) then running a metal scraper over the entire body to remove the hair and the outer layer of skin (which in the case of our pigs the hair is black  – what is revealed is the soft pink skin underneath that we are all so fond of eating crackled with salt and pepper), then the toenails are removed, which was news to me the first time i saw this done. This revelation left me somewhat relieved as i frequently use pig trotters and was always a little worried how well they cleaned their feet. It turns out what looks like their nails are actually the bone the nails are attached too. After that the pig is gutted and then weighed (this is its dressed weight). Ours came in at just over 70 kg each, which we were pretty pleased about.

Now let me tell you when the time came to say good bye to these two i was feeling pretty nervous and a little reluctant. After all, i had spent a lot of time with these pigs; feeding them daily, moving them weekly and giving them i don’t know how many belly scratches. It left me quite attached to them. That being said i would not have it any other way because i don’t want to forget where my meat comes from and the day killing an animal becomes easy or enjoyable is the day something is wrong.

To respect the pigs i want to use as much of the animal as possible however after a quick search online i am left feeling a little disheartened about the lungs, heart and liver. No where could i find something that i thought would really make them shine, leading me to believe the art of cooking offal is a dying one.

If any one has any recipes that will make these undervalued cuts something special i would love to hear from you.

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8 thoughts on “Farewell Pig Pigs

  1. Being an old farm girl I empathize with you. I would slop the hogs daily, get to know them about as personally as one can know a pig, and then, on the coldest day of winter, watch them slaughtered. Not pretty, but necessary.

    My grandmother liked pork brains in her eggs. I never could eat the gray matter though. I would let go the lungs. I have had some delicious German sausages that used pork liver and heart meat. It has been a long time since i made sausage. We primarily made breakfast sausages and stuffed the salt soaked intestine to stuff. Here is a site that speaks to sausage making. They have the good German liver sausage recipes: http://www.lets-make-sausage.com/german-sausage-recipes.html

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  2. Offal is great for dogs, I’m sure Solomon would love some oven baked liver treats! Just make sure to cut the fat off. I’ve never fed pig offal before but I assume it would be fine since pretty much all other meat types are.
    Slice the liver really thin then bake on low in the oven until dry, use as a sometimes treat.
    My guys get minced offal and vegie mix regularly.

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