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