The pig so far

It’s been a little more than a year since I put a bullet into the brain of a pig. And, while we’ve been noshing on the remains since, I’ve been remiss by not blogging about it. So a laundry list:

  • There was the brunch with the in-laws at which we ate my bacon as both strips and in a quiche (the crust of which used some of the lard) and a sage sausage from ground pork scraps. Sorta like The Onion‘s Entire Meal Pig-Based story only better.
  • My mother roasted a cola-brined ham — juicy with a luscious caramelization on the outside — for my graduation party a year ago that did that hog proud.
  • We had so much ground pork that we were, for a time, putting it in practically everything. (For some reason we never tried pork burgers, a traditional hog-farmer meal.) But the best sausages were the ones we ground ourselves, hacking muscle and fat off the shoulder bone and letting it sit in the fresh ginger, sage and salt.
  • There was the lardo. And the face bacon. And the comic that went with it. (No food poisoning, I’m happy to say.)
  • We smoked a couple chunks of shoulder on the grill and ate a feast of pulled pork, and a smoked-hock-and-white-bean soup was a fantastic mid-winter meal.
  • And there was the requisite pork chops, both bone-in and boneless ones hammered flat. Iowa tradition.

Despite this plethora, our freezer still holds an abundance: baby-back ribs, some loin and a few chops, an uncured side, hocks, another six-pound bucket of lard, a chunk or two of shoulder.

But there’s some room in there. Maybe it’s time I go looking, as a butcher would say, for a “beef.”

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