Pork marathon

Nat asked for it, so here we go.
I’ve spent the last 12 hours working with the pig meat. In the morning I called my “American” butcher Joe Gates in Vacaville. He’s cutting up Little Girl–loins, legs, boned shoulders, lard–she’ll be ready on Wednesday. Then I headed over to Eccolo and watched an awesome butcher take apart Big Guy in the Italian style. In 3 hours we had two proscuittos salted and in the process of curing, 2 shoulders (for salumi), 6 pancettas (!), 4 gorgeous loins, 2 tenderloins, a ton of leaf lard, some bones, and 2 racks of ribs. Chris and Samin said the pig looked really good, and that I had done a good job. I can’t help but feel so proud of my pig. To make the proscuitto I rubbed the leg’s skin with salt, sort of massaging it in. It was so wonderful to really feel the pig, to get fat all over my hands, and make a connection with the pig again. I felt like, Oh, my friend, here’s your buttocks, they’re so nice. Chris said in Italy the butchers talk about women while they rub the legs.
I left the resto after a delicious BLT with a bunch of meat to process. First I put the loins and ribs in the freezer (thanks Daniel and Claudia!). Then I roasted the bones and boiled them in water to make pork stock. Then I rendered the fat. Then I made a county pate with the liver (Sylvia did get me the liver–and in the bag there’s also two kidneys and the heart). I don’t have high hopes for the pate–but I had to experiment with this huge organ. I ground up some meat and fat, lined the terrine with a big strip of back fat, mixed up the diced liver with eggs and white wine and flour. Cooked it for 2 hours. Around 9:30, I decided to eat dinner. I made a cuc, corn, tomato salad with bits of pork cracklings (you should smell my house). Next, I rubbed the tenderloin with fennel pollen, salt and pepper then seared it in a cast iron pan. Samin gave me some vibrant Tuscan-style pepper jelly as a sauce to pair with the pork. The meat with the jelly was the best thing I’ve ever tasted–it’s total heaven.
Bill has been telling people we aren’t going to raise a pig again, then he took a bite of the tenderloin and as he chewed he kept saying wow, wow. Then he paused and asked with a titch of paranoia: Do we have enough?

8 responses to “Pork marathon

  1. apcowboy@hotmail.com

    you can find a lot of infor about pork at,

  2. I’m so happy that they situation with Sylvia has turned around into a wonderful experience.

  3. I have been following this saga with interest and amazement, and now my stomach is growling. I am remined of a Portugese saying I heard once, something to the effect: “The hapiest times in life are the first year of marraige and the week after you butcher the pig.”

  4. makes my mouth water!

  5. I can smell it from here makes my stomach grumble.

    ps i still hate sylvia and think that her hair was fake too.

  6. Bill’s a pork junkie!

  7. “Bill has been telling people we aren’t going to raise a pig again, then he took a bite of the tenderloin and as he chewed he kept saying wow, wow. Then he paused and asked with a titch of paranoia: Do we have enough?”

    Oh, my. This is terribly familiar. Silly boys. (Mine’s named William too, as it happens.)

  8. Novella Carpenter

    i read your post about peppers yesterday and was laughing my ass off. yes, those boys are silly. ever since i started the meat processing, bill is looking at me with this, i don’t know, a blend of passion/respect/wonder. i made tacos with carnitas and chipotle peppers last night for dinner and we were just dying how good they were. it’s such a wonderful time.

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