The animals on our farm all need a purpose, some are breeding stock and will enjoy a long life on the homestead. Others are raised specifically for food. The faster they mature and reach the desired size, the better, to reduce the costs in raising those animals. Part of the process we are learning at the Florida House are what breeds we prefer to raise for specific purposes. It quickly became time to take these piggies to the butcher. It’s a short trip, as we process all of our own meat right here on site.
Whole Pig Roast
One of the pigs we raised for Joy Murphy, Philip’s mom, was raised to cook for a whole pig roast. This pig didn’t get quite as large as the others and was grilled over a fire on a custom grill. There is a cover that fits the top of the grill to hold the heat and roast the pig evenly.
Piggies Go to the Butcher Right Here on Site
It didn’t take long to grow these pigs large enough for butcher and we began the process of butchering ourselves. We don’t have a cooler to hang the meat, but we keep it on ice in portable coolers to allow it to properly rest before processing.
One of Philip’s greatest joys is to pass on the skills we’ve learned to others, when it’s our own kids, it’s even more exciting that they they enjoy spending time with us but to also interested in learning from us. Stephen Hardy is my daughter’s boyfriend, Philip is teaching him the beginning skills of properly trimming meat. Faith Nelson, my daughter is preparing bacon below with me.
We create a bacon cure and coat the meat throughly and allow it to set for several days in the fridge, flipping it each day. I’ll include our bacon cure recipe at the end.
Processing the meat is not hard but it does take meticulous attention to detail. Identifying the cuts, separating the muscle groups and carefully removing any sinew. Bone in meats require the use of a saw to cut as well, a meat band saw makes the job a lot easier.
We have not mastered twisting the sausage and frankly find it a lot easier not to. The casing holds it together for cooking and works fine without twisting.
We made a combination of small breakfast sausage and large ones as well at bratwurst.
Fresh pork chops are amazing! Farm raised meats are not cheaper or easier, but there is a lot of satisfaction in sitting down to a meal knowing the quality of your food and that you raised it yourself.
You can find the Simple Bacon Cure recipe here
About the Author: Barbra-Sue Kowalski grew up on a small hobby farm. She was always drawn to farm life, however, she was stuck in an urban life far from her roots. Barbra-Sue was a single mom for 13 years, raising her 3 children on her own. She met Philip in 2018 and they married in 2021. Between the two of them, they have 5 grown children and 4 grandchildren. These empty nesters are following their dreams! As they both turn 50, they are building their off-grid homestead to live the life that they dream about. Learn more about Philip and Barbra-Sue here. Contact them here. To leave a comment on this post, please scroll down.