Richard was an approximately 140kg boar. We were unable to find out before-hand how much some of the offal organs and joints might typically weigh, so were unable to precisely prepare recipes until we’d got the bits assembled. This made it a bit tricky deciding what we would be able to make. For future reference, here are the weights we recorded;
- Liver 3.8kg
- Spleen 0.5kg
- Kidneys 0.75kg
- Heart 0.5kg
- Lungs 0.5kg
- Blood 4 or 5 litres, but a lot coagulated before we got to use it. Top tip! Add a little vinegar (about a tablespoonful) as soon as possible to prevent coagulation!
- Testicles unweighed, but they were huge!
- Intestines – we’d decided not to deal with these on our first go, so we bought casings for our sausages and gave the intestines to Stefan for his dogs. Next time, we’ll maybe give them a go.
Day 1 – Preparation
For the brine solution for a whole boiled ham we made a strong brine solution;
- 12lt water
- 2lt apple juice
- 4kg salt
- 1.5kg brown sugar (we’d have used more, but it’s really expensive here!)
- handful each of bay leaves, black peppercorns, juniper berries and cloves
Boiled everything together and left to cool, ready for the next day. Actually we didn’t need to have boiled the whole lot; the salt would have dissolved anyway overnight, we only needed to dissolve the sugar and infuse the spices, and we could have done this in a lot less than the 12lt of water.
For the bacon cure we mixed up;
- 1kg salt
- 0.5kg brown sugar
- small handfuls each of peppercorns, juniper berries and chopped bay leaves.
Popped this in a tub ready for the next day
For the large ham we just had a shed-load of salt ready. We’d measured Richard’s back legs, and thought we had a container large enough to do the salting in. We were wrong 🙂
We spent the rest of the day clearing down the kitchen, emptying both fridges and switched on the spare freezer. In hindsight, we didn’t do this enough; we should have cleared every single surface and basically emptied the kitchen; it would have made cleaning up a lot easier.