Got to attend a 4 hour seminar on hog butchering today. We did everything but dispatch the hog. Really good class for only $15. tomorrow we will take all of the cuts we butchered and go through a period (mid-19th century) curing process.
Getting the scalding bath ready
two minuted per dunk. The bath must be between 140F and 150F to loosen the hairs, but not set them.
Using bell scrapers to remove the hair. These are actually from the mid-19th century when this process was used. The reason for removing the hair is to preserve the skin which helped with the curing process.
After a couple of dunks of the front section, the spreader bar is repositioned to the front legs to facilitate dunking the rear portions of the sow.
About an hour and a half and 6ish dunkings into this, the hair is nearly gone.
A gorgeous little red barn was just in the next field over, tempting me all day.
Now the hair is gone, we can eviscerate the hog.
Now that she's eviscerated, we can behead:
Then we can split into two sides:
And because I know many of you are as sick as I am...a slo-mo video of the bone saw going through the spine:
Now we have two sides on the butchering table, ready to break down into individual cuts:
And a little kochi pron:
Yeah, I know...that's not what it's for...but I had yet to use it and thought this would be a great way to christen it. I'll do a forum bird sometime soon.
After a demo of each cut on the RHS of the pig, I scored a prime position to do the ham on the LHS. Here I am with the instructor talking about the lines of the muscles and how to shape the cuts:
I had some trouble finding the ball joint, so the instructor got back in there and helped me locate it:
Then I was able to get in there and pop the tendons holding the joint together. Was cool to see the joint open up when the last tendon was cut. Great feedback.
This little kochi cuts damn well.
Making the last cut, tracing along the pelvis to separate the ham.
A few shots of the cuts as they were coming off, into the holding bin:
Classmate taking off the 2nd belly.
Fat ass rooster, guarding the hen house:
Fun macro shot of the bone saw at the end of the day:
The butchering knives supplied by the instructors, made by Green River:
The full set of photos are here...including some more gory ones that I redacted for this post:
I'll do another post tomorrow after the curing class....if I get enough photo-worthy opportunities, which isn't a given. Hope you guys and gals enjoy and this wasn't too gory for you. I had an absolute blast and learned a lot.