What to make with a whole pig

Day 4 – Ribs and a mincer

We started the day off by picking all the meat off the head and hock, ready to press into the mould. As we hadn’t managed to split the skull before boiling it, we’d had to add a lot more stock than we’d originally planned. This meant that the gelatine mix was a lot weaker than we’d thought so we had to reduce the stock down by half to get the gelatine strong enough to set. Next time I’ll get a better saw and split the skull properly.

Next we tackled the ribs. I cut them up, while Julie minced the meat for sausages. It’s possibly not the best meat to use for sausages, but there was so much of it we didn’t know what else to do with it! We froze the ribs that were left for barbecued ribs. I also removed as much meat as I could from the neck and spine to add to the sausage mix. We ended up with about 13kg of sausage meat mix, so froze most of this for later use. This took most of the day!

Day 5 – Sausages and salami

With the fridges now getting a bit emptier, we could relax a bit more today. All we wanted to get done was sausages and salami.

We made two batches of sausages;  a basic breakfast sausage and one with lots of paprika in. The basic mix was meat, 8% oven-dried breadcrumbs and 0.5% salt by weight, with added spices.

The salami mix was meat, 1/8th diced back fat, 2.2% salt, garlic, red wine and pepper. The salami go into beef casings as they are stronger than pork casings, and will withstand fly attack.


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  7 comments for “What to make with a whole pig

  1. November 22, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Thanks Julie and Joe! That was an interesting read. You’re right about the villagers, but we’re all learning! It will be great to see you both at Christmas.

  2. November 22, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Hi Julie, great post. Did you scrape off the bristles and if so, how did you do it?

    • Joe
      November 22, 2015 at 9:43 am

      Hi! Stefan skinned the pig while it was hanging. He says removing the bristles is a lengthy task, so we didn’t do it this time round. Next time I’ll ask him to remove the bristles. I think he uses a blow-torch, from what I could understand, but I’m not sure how he does that! For the feet and ears I blackened the skin and bristles with the blowtorch then scrubbed them off with a pan scourer.

  3. Alan & mum
    November 22, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    This was very interesting reading, & we are full of admiration for what you have achieved. It will be interesting to learn how long this bounty will last. Did you freeze the things you made in to portion sizes or will you be sawing off the amounts of mince, for example, that you require?

    • Joe
      November 22, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      We’ve got a mixture: mince is frozen into portion sizes, about 1lb bags. Some large joints are left to see what we need them for, hams, bacon, mince or diced meat. Julie and I both agreed that we see meat in a different way now. Because of the effort that has gone into producing what we’ve got, raising the pig, slaughtering and butchering, we feel much more frugal with it. This meat will have to last us a year, so if we run out we’re not buying any more. Suddenly we see the sense of many peasant recipes, which are basically trying to stretch the meat as far as it will go!

  4. November 23, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Well done Joe and Julie.

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