Day 3 – Hams, faggots and a blowtorch
The main thrust of today was to get the legs dealt with, the faggots made and frozen, and the brawn mix cooking. The main meat for the brawn had been in a weak brine mix overnight, with freezer blocks to cool it down, but I still had to de-hair the trotters, ears and tail. These are needed to add gelatine to the brawn for setting.
Firstly, we dealt with the four huge legs. These were much larger than we’d accounted for. Each back leg alone weighed in at 16kg. Just to save time, we got a whole back leg into the brine mix in our biggest barrel, but it was so big that Julie had to make up an additional 40l of brine to get it covered! Next time, we’ll split this down into smaller joints and brine separately. I managed to get the other back leg cut into two, so we froze one and planned to salt the other. Unfortunately, even split in two it was bigger than we’d thought and we didn’t have anything big enough to salt it in. So, we froze it for a later day, when I would have time to build a purpose-made box for salting.
The two front legs we got split down into two shoulders, two picnic hams and two hocks. These all went into the freezer; they will make good sausage meat at a later date, or can be used for slow roasting or boiling.
Julie got her faggots made up and frozen, and decided to get the loins cut up to make room in the fridge, which was bulging. While she did this she removed the back fat for rendering later in the week.
After the legs, I got on with shaving the trotters, ears and tail (yes, I’ve now shaved a pig), and we got the outside cooking pechka lit to get this on a long boil, about four hours. Using a blowtorch to remove the hair took ages. There has to be an easier way, and Stefan has agreed to show me how to do it when he does his own pig in a couple of months.
We finally got the brawn off the cooker to cool at 6:30pm, and tucked into some fresh pork chops for tea.