Monday, December 22, 2008

Full Freezer

Our pig dressed out at 134 pounds, and we got back about 116 pounds of meat and 10 pounds of fat to render into lard. Now that I've seen the cuts of meat, I'll make a few different decisions next time. For example, we had one of the hams cut in half, and one left whole. A whole ham is huge! I'll definitely get them both cut in half next time. So far, we've only tried the bacon, which was amazing. The pig was partly finished on apples, but I'm not sure how much of the sweet flavor is from that and how much is just the difference between real pork and factory pork. Anyhow, the bacon is very sweet and earthy, and it cooks up perfectly. The fat is crispy and the meat is chewy. I can never get store bacon to do that.

Here is the break down:
Hams, 1 whole and 2 halves, 26 lbs 9 oz total
Bacon, 11 lbs 14 oz
Italian sausage, 10 packages, 13 lbs 7 oz total
Sage sausage, 10 packages, 11 lbs 9 oz total
Pork chops, 11 packages of 4, 19 lbs 14 oz total
Country-style ribs, 4 packages, 12 lbs total
Spare ribs, 4 packages, 5 lbs 11 oz total
Shoulder roasts (2), 9 lbs 9 oz total
Sirloin roasts (2), 6 lbs 8 oz total

This was all frozen at the processor, so we didn't overwork our poor freezer.

Paul also shot a deer a few weeks ago, so we have venison again. It was a little guy, only providing 18 pounds of meat, but the processor threw in a complimentary baloney sausage when he found out we have the same last name, so that brought us up to just about 20 pounds of venison.

In addition, there are still ten chickens left from last summer. I thought there were fewer, but when I was rearranging the freezer to make room for all the pork, I found more stashed on different shelves. I kind of lost track, but I think we slaughtered around 40 chickens last year. I got kind of tired of chicken, because for a while it was just about the only meat we had, so I stopped using it as much. Those 10 chickens will probably last us until we slaughter again next summer. Oh, and there's also a duckling in the freezer, which will be our special Epiphany dinner.

Last, and definitely least, we culled one of our problem goats from the herd. There are two more to cull later, probably after Christmas. The meat is tough, of course, but so far it tastes ok in small amounts. We had goat tacos for dinner last night, and they were reasonably tasty. We figure that if we don't want to eat the goat meat, it will still make a good supplement for the dogs so it won't be wasted. Plus, it's good practice at slaughtering and butchering larger animals ourselves.

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