Round Table Farm

Donkeys, Goats, Books and Chickens

Freezer Pig

Half a pig kept cool by items from the freezer.

My parents and us bought a pig for the freezer this year. A 300 pound piggie. We spent Saturday the 13th butchering it up and wrapping the roasts and chops and stew bones for the freezer.

We bought the pig from a local pig farmer, like 5 miles away. We also paid him for the service of slaughtering it and removing the skin and organs. We were scheduled to pick it up between 7 and 730 in the morning, while it was still cool, just after sunrise. I had told the pig farmer I would show up with the truck and some coolers to transport it back to our place.

The 2nd grinding gives it a more uniform texture.

Well, the truck was in the lower paddock and My Main Man wasn’t interested in bringing it up the evening before. So, I got some bags ready, along with towels, for the back seat of the car. But at the last minute, M3 said, ‘No Trash Bags!’ because he didn’t want plastic touching our pig. We got out a sheet to wrap it in.

I sat in the car, waiting, wondering what M3 was up to. Apparently he decided to wash and sharpen some knives before leaving the house. We were a few minutes late and the pig farmer was quite surprised to see us pull up in a passenger car. He had cut it in half and put a black trash bag on each half. We were able to man-handle both halves into the back seat of the car, which we drove through the pig paddock.

Smoked pork bellies once sliced will be bacon.

The butchering was pretty straight forward and we left some chopped meat for the grinder for a different day. Out of that we made several pounds of ground meat and then 5 different kinds of patty sausage. M3 also embarked on a most tasty experiment of making bacon. The pork bellies had to sit in the fridge for a week in plastic freezer bags. Then he rubbed each one with kosher salt and real maple syrup (not the fake corn syrup stuff) and let them sit in the fridge for another week, flipping them over each day. The last step was to cold smoke them with applewood for 4 hours. Truly, it is the best bacon I have ever had. Butchering a pig is worth all the effort just for the bacon.

In reading how to make bacon, M3 read that nitrates can be added to give the bacon a pink coloring, such as in store-bought bacon. We decided that nitrates were unnecessary as we would be freezing whatever bacon we did not consume immediately.

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