Home Butchery

I love to butcher. I know for many it’s weird, maybe even macabre. This is why I like it.

Butcher Abby

Abby and a pig head.

1. It’s authentic. I’m an omnivore. I have killed and butchered my own animals I bottle-fed and loved because I am a farmer and it was their purpose. When I eat meat I wholly know I am being sustained by an individual creature’s life. Because of this understanding, I deeply honor my meat and the animals who gave it. I try to only eat animals I know what their lives were like, ideally I will butcher them myself.

2. It’s interesting, I enjoy the anatomy, and how bodies come together. Seam butchery, cleaning silver skin, and slicing the skin from pork belly is meditative.

3. When I am able to butcher my own meat there is no waste. Nothing about the animal’s death was in vain.

4. I get the cuts I want the way I want them.

5. I know it’s fresh.

Last week I butchered a pig head. With the package comes the feet and organs, for 15$.

Here’s what I did with it.

pork jowls

Cheek Bacon.

First I removed the jowls and made a quick guanciale style bacon:

I crushed peppercorns, coriander, allspice, and garlic into a paste in my mortar and pestle. I rubbed that on the cheeks and then slathered them in kosher salt.

Then I weighted(one chafing on top of another with a weight on top) them for two days in the refrigerator, turning them once.

roasted jowls with carrtos and radishes

Quick Jowl bacon with roasted vegetables

Jowl Bacon with Roasted Vetables

Cheek bacon, with roasted veggies. Soooo good. Yes, I ate all the fat.

I rinsed and dried the jowl, and rubbed some wild honey on it before roasting it with organic carrots and radishes, a 270 degrees for 2 1/2 hours.

I also cut this lovely neck roast for a braise.

pork neck roast

pork neck roast

I did not make pozole. I know it’s sacrilege. But, there’s no pozole corn here, and it make so much…I’d have to have a party. Maybe next time.

I boiled the rest of the head and removed the tastier bits for various future recipes. I also have 20 quarts for collagen-rich stock, and many nice hunks of less human palatable flesh to enhance my dog’s diet.

Estos para mi equipo, los extraño chico/as xoxoxo

Probecho!

This entry was posted in Animal Husbandry, Uncategorized and tagged , , , by vsvevg. Bookmark the permalink.

About vsvevg

Hello, I'm Abby Smith. I started this blog to write about the pursuit of a self-sustainable life in rural Mexico. Then my husband and I moved to Nicaragua, where we created a successful farm-to-table and in-house charcuterie program for a high-end beach resort. With mad butchery and cheese-making skills under my belt, I now return to my first love: writing, as a freelance food and travel writer.

5 thoughts on “Home Butchery

  1. Abby, It is good that people still harvest and respect the animal. We do the same when we go hunting (mainly whitetail deer). We use as much of the animal as possible. We, as hunters in our case, owe it to the animal. Keep doing a wonderful job!

    • Thanks for reading Jay! I haven’t hunted myself, but I’m from Iowa, and was often gifted with pheasant and venison. There is nothing better than Iowa Venison 😉
      The clean death of an animal that lived it’s life free and is throughly and respectfully consumed is honorable act.

  2. I appreciate your points, I don’t think I would have the stomach to do butchery, unless it was a life dependent situation. Food for thought, so to speak.

Leave a Reply