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Cutting pork

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by TnAndy, Aug 17, 2019.


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  1. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Killed the second of our two hogs yesterday morning. He weighed 420lb live, dressed out at 270lbs.
    Chilled overnight in walk-in cooler, started on a half this morning. Here is the loin cut with the butt ham removed from the left side, and the front shoulder removed at the 5th rib on the right side.
    [​IMG]
    Viewed from the shoulder end, with rib plate & belly (bacon) showing.
    [​IMG]
    First cut I make is to bone out the tenderloin from the inside of the backbone. Trim it up, make one small but very tender roast out of the larger end (about 6-7"), then cut the rest into slices for frying breakfast meat.
    [​IMG]

    I remove the rib plate next, sawing free from the backbone, then cut the ribs for spare ribs. The belly is trimmed up, cut into large section to cure as bacon. The back loin is then cut into chops and two loin end roasts. Made 16 thick chops.
    [​IMG]

    The next half, I'll bone out that back loin so I can cut it into thin chops with knife.
     
    Garand69, Zimmy, Gator 45/70 and 10 others like this.
  2. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    Fresh Meat, truly the best part of living rural.
     
  3. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    wow the marbling is beautiful you sure do know how to raise them @TnAndy [applaud]
     
  4. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Beautiful, makes me homesick, Dad always did that as a kid, then made sausage, rendered out the lard, sugar cured the hams, smoked them, bacon cut lean and thick, whole different world then. Love seeing someone who is still doing it and even happier it is continuing. Nothing went to waste, Krub or blood sausage, lots of sausage, some made into sticks and smoked, others mixed ith oat meal etc and fried and eaten with syrup or maple. We had very little money, but we lead a very good life, ps, no electricity either so pork was winter food.
     
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  5. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Wow! Those chops look good! I bet that bacon is gooooood!
     
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  6. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member


    Is good.

    Ended up with 54lbs cured, we broiled and canned over the last two days, that reduces to 32 pints of jars. 4 servings per jar (about 24 short strips). Kept track of the weight of scrap, stuff that wouldn't make good bacon, too much fat, it was about 10lbs of the 54. Then the grease that melted off while broiling weighed another 16lbs.....so of the 54, only about half goes in jars. The 10lbs of trimmings will be used to season green beans cooking, or add to beef in summer sausage I'll be making in a few weeks after we kill a beef this Saturday. Fall is a busy time.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Zimmy, Ganado and Gator 45/70 like this.
  7. Lotta work puttin' up a winter's supply of food. But like Dolly Parton said" No amount of money could buy from me.................."
     
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  8. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    Looks great! You got a lot of hungry monkeys looking at those pics!
     
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  9. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+


    One must be really careful canning pork, right? I ask because we are going to try and can our first meats this year. I know we'll be putting up chicken and lamb as I got a good line on both and I would love to get some bacon put away...

    You cure your bacon before canning it? Or, maybe the better question is do you do anything to your bacon before canning?
     
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  10. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Bacon, by definition, is cured pork belly. I brine cure mine in a salt, nitrate, sugar solution for 7-8 days @ 40 degrees. (hams as well, the thicker ones up to 10 days). Then slice, broil, roll in parchment paper, pressure can pints for 75 minutes @ 15psi.
     
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  11. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    You 'broil' it before canning so it is precooked and ready to eat? I just want to be sure I understand...
     
  12. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    We broil it so it's about 1/2 cooked. Found that canning it raw, it falls apart in the jars so you end up with bacon crumbles instead of strips. (plus you end up with about 1/3 jar of bacon grease since it wasn't pre-cooked) Read that cooking it slightly to about half crisp (still limp), it doesn't do that....and that turns out to be correct.

    You could eat it right out of the jar, since it's been broiled + processed by the canner, with no ill effect....but if you like a traditional 'crisp' bacon strip, you'll need to fry, broil or microwave it a little more after taking from the jar.....which is what we do.

    Also, initially, I started the pre-cooking by frying in a couple of large cast iron pans outside. Wife didn't like that as well, because the pans/grease (even draining regular) tend to get a burned look to the bacon....see photo's:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    So she suggest broiling in the oven, so the grease runs down into the broiling pans, and leaves the bacon a lot more presentable: (pile in front, ready to go in paper/jars):
    [​IMG]

    As is often the case, she is right....and pretty sure we've now achieved the optimal way of doing it.

    We also started off using wide mouth quart jars, but have switched to wide mouth pints. The "slide" on my slicer is 10" (Weston brand)...that was the longest I could find in a non-commerical model. My guess is commercial ones probably run 12-16" or more. I have to cut my belly pcs into 8-9" so they will fit the slicer....so our strips end up shorter than the store bought package bacon. We find they work best in a pint jar. Take a pc of parchment paper 9" x width it comes in (like 20" or so), then fold that in half. Our cooked (shrunk) strips fit that 4 1/2" inside fold....about 12 strips.....fold the other half over that, add 12 more strips, the roll into a tight roll, and stuff in a wide mouth pint....it just fits....you have to push the top down a bit to clear the lid, but it clears. (not the way I'm doing in the photo....that was using quarts). 24 of our short strips is enough for 4 servings of 6 each for us. When open a jar, remove cook half, screw a plastic lid on the jar of the rest and stick the freezer for next time.

    By the way, I mentioned brine curing. When I first cured bacon, I used the 'dry cure' method...you basically rub it in a dry mix of salt/nitrate/sugar ( or use Morton Sugar Cure, which has the right mix of the three), then store in ziplock bags in the fridge for 5-6 days. Problem found with that method is the bacon comes out very salty....you can reduce the salinity by several rinsings/soaking in cold water, but it's still more salty than commercial cured bacon. So I switched to the brine method, which uses less salt, and the bacon is held in a refrigerated brine bath for about the same number of days.....we like it a lot better (wife more than me....I can put salt on potato chips :D)....so that is our method of choice now. Hams work out GREAT in brine as well, but you have to inject/pump them with brine also, due to thickness.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
    Zimmy and Seawolf1090 like this.
  13. STGThndr

    STGThndr Monkey

    Long pig, anyone? Alferd Packer frozen preserves...:coffee:
     
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