|Slowly pouring the scalding water on. |
This allows the bristles and outer layer of skin to be removed.
The scald went well this time. I have had a bit of advice from an ex-butcher friend. He recommended pouring the hot water on rather than dipping the pig. It is a lot easier even if it does take a bit longer. Also he said to use a shovel for the scrape. It allows you to cover the big sides easily and quickly which is a big help when you have to do the whole thing on your own, as I was. We used the tractor to move the pig from where it was killed to the slaughter area and to haul up the pig on the gambrel. Afterwards I cut the carcasse into forequarters, bacon sides and hams. I then put it all into the freezer to cool down for a few hours.
|Well I weigh around 120kg, so I can assure you the pig was a LOT heavier!|
Later in the afternoon I made up a curing mix of coarse salt, brown sugar and saltpetre. I then took the hams from the freezer where they had cooled but not frozen (frozen is bad if you want to cure the meat) and trimmed them up to look a little more presentable. In fact I had to remove the top of the hams containing the H bone so they would fit into the fridge I was to use. So we ended up with a couple of extra roasts. The hams were then well rubbed and packed with the mix before each being laid on a shelf of the fridge. Then the bacon sides were likewise trimmed up and salted before being packed two to a shelf- the weight helps them cure. They will be re-packed every so often to ensure they all cure evenly. The fridge itself has been turned down to about three degrees which is the optimum temperature for curing ham.
|The top two shelves are bacon slabs.|
Ham on the bottom two shelves.
With the remaining forequarters and all of the leftover odds and bobs I will be making salami (Italian style and Chorizo) and sausages. In the kitchen is a great big bubbling pot of odd trimmings from the bacon sides. Salted and spiced, it will be kept boiling for about a day before being poured into pans and cooled to make Brawn. Sort of like a gelatinous meatloaf, it is absolutely delicious between two slices of bread and is very good for you.