Friday, January 28, 2011

Scalding, Scraping and other things

Got some pics to share below, but before that let us welcome our newest litter of piglets born to first-time mother, Mij, our Berkshire yesterday morning.

First up is a snow picture. I think this was from our December snow (only 4-5 inches). You can see both Mabel (our Jersey) on the left and Dolly (our Brown Swiss) on the right, along with our still roofless barn.
Next is a series of pictures with us scalding and scraping a hog. In the past we have mostly skinned our hogs, but with the right technique (demonstrated here) scalding and scraping is actually easier, albeit the prep time-that is heating 40 gallons of water to 145 F takes some time. Leaving the skin on is more esthetically pleasing, helps with flavor, and preserves the fat. And it is more classical.

Unfortunately the pictures don't show the "before" hog. In the first picture, the hog has already been 95% scraped. This hog was primarily black, but all hogs are white under the surface pigment. The pigment comes off with the hair. So what is shown in the pictures is our re-dipping the hog in 145 F water for 3-6 minutes to get some loose ends which didn't loosen on the first dip.

And just so you know, this is hard work, but it is wonderful work. I think we all look forward to pig slaughter days, and are tired and happy when they are over also. For the first time, number 1 son stunned the hog, and did an excellent job-better than my first time. We work well together.

Note that the head is off the hog. We didn't throw it out. We dipped it and scraped it separately. Then I boiled the meat and fat off. Layered it, rolled it up and refrigerated it. Sliced, dipped in egg and flour and then fried, it is delicious with scrambled eggs. Credit CT for the recipe.

Oremus pro invicem!


The Jaracz Family said...

Thanks for sharing! We save the heads to make "head cheese," of course. But your recipe sounds good, too. Waste not, want not!

Keep up the great work.

Jim Curley said...

thanks for the comment.

I made liverwurst for the first time too. I'm not crazy about it, but most of the family enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Oops! What I meant to say was, Jim, you really get down to business. That pig should have quit while he or she was a head.

I take it by the clothes in the (January?) pictures it wasn't too cold? We're freezing up here in the People's Republic of Massachusetts. Mountains of snow all around everywhere too. God bless you all. Every time I see such pictures I am reminded how totally incomplete my education was.

Jim Curley said...

You are right, it was January-but probably in the high 40's. Just outside the picture was fire to make coals to heat the water in the drum. The fire and the physical work really warm you up.

This was actually the warmest day that week. This was the last of 4 hogs done in 7 days. The others were done in 30-odd degree weather. Still, nothing like MA. We are seeing low 30's at night, but even those lows are winding down-even though we expect some flurries tonight.

5 years ago, I couldn't see myself in those pictures.

God bless you.