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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Butcher Shoppe

The following cuts require basic knife skills. Nothing fancy, at least not yet.

Your butchered hog should be allowed to chill over night. It is best to cut pork while it is cool. You need a bone saw, a butcher's knife and every other serrated knife you have. We don't all have the perfect knife sets, and we are going to need to make do. I find that a sturdy bread knife actual works wonders with large, curving, cuts of meat, like pork chops.

Below is you basic hog chart.

hog chart
I had some decent pictures of us cutting things up, and pictures of other select meats, unfortunately it looks as though my computer ate them.

Here is a picnic ham with the hock still attached. You will need a bone saw or a sawzall to cut the two apart. We are using a wood blade. Dewalt! Are you reading? I would love it if you would make a blade for meat and bone. If you make one already, where can I find it? It sure isn't local.

I digress. The wood blade cuts easier than the metal pipe blade we were using to break the hog down for transporting.

How we had the hog broken down, meant we had to cut the butt (which isn't an actually butt (look at the chart people) Away from the ham. It was too large for me to store, and I ended up cutting it in half.
Boston Butt

Next came the torso (chest if you will). Using your sawzall, meat saw or bone saw, you want to cut it in half. You will end up with two pieces like the ones below. On the left we have the spare ribs and bacon, on the right we have the loin chops (loin, pork chops, sirloin)

ribs/bacon/pork chops before breaking down

Follow the end of the ribs to remove the bacon from the spare ribs.
ribs bacon slab

Cutting close to one side of the bone, follow the bones to cut your pork chops. You might need your bone saws to cut through the spine. However once the spine seems to widen, you will be at the end of your pork chops, and into the beginning of what is labeled at the grocers as loin.
pork chops
You will have a small loin, darker in color than the rest of the meat. Carefully follow the lines to cut it out. You should see it when you look at the chunk of meat. This would be one of the pictures that the computer seems to have eaten. After removing the small loin, you will have the sirloin cut left. Follow the bone and remove it from the spine and backfat.

Jere we have the back ham. HUGE! You can smoke, brine, salt or store away fresh (you can do that with the picnic ham as well)

Large ham

Or you can cut it down into roasts and smaller, more manageable hams
Ham roasts

These are roasts. Follow the bone while cutting. We vacuum sealed all the meats, before freezing. You can flavor your hams and roasts ahead of time. I have a brown sugar mini ham, a couple of small grilling hams and a rosemary, onion and red wine roast sitting in the freezer. Vacuum sealing helps the marinades invade the pork cuts before freezing and will remain there as you thaw. (brown sugar hams, 1 cup of brown sugar, dash of allspice, dash of cinnamon, pinch of clove, 1 teaspoon ground mustered and black pepper to taste mix well and rub hard. Grill roasts, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup salt, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, mix and rub hard.)

I haven't cut up the bacon yet, and have not weighed them, the short ribs nor the sausage as of yet. Sausage will need it's own post. Without weighing all those items yet, we have 161 lbs and 3 oz of meat.

If you are wanting me to post on fancier cuts of meat, please let me know. And I will talk about them as I pull them out of the freezer for dinner this coming year.


abbagirl74 said...

I can't wait to show my boyfriend your pictures. He is a butcher at one of my stores and he would think this is pretty cool.

HermitJim said...

Looks like a decent days work, did good!

Phelan said...

abba, when you show him, make sure you tell him that it was all done by hand. I don't have all those fancy machines he has ;)

HJim, I keep trying to leave a message on your blog, but for some reason it won't let me. ggrrr. . . It was a full day of work, I will tell you that.

Oh the head was cooking, it didn't fit into my largest pot, and the smell got so bad that I gave up. That is an outdoor project people.

Janelle said...

great job!!

Captain's Wife - Jennifer said...

Awesome! Phelen, what does it mean when you said the head is cooking? The actual head? And if so, what do you do with it?

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

oh yeah keep those posts coming I have to learn from someone. Thanks, it does look really good.

The Fool said...

Terrific, Phelan. You should be proud. You know, I think there is a niche for a "How to Field Dress & Butcher a Moose" video up here. Perhaps you will consider it for your next project?

Phelan said...

Janelle, thank you.

Jennifer, yes the entire head was cooking. I needed to remove the skin to get to the fat and the meat. You can make all kinds of things with the head. Janelle has a video up on her blog. I planned on using the head meat to make sausage.

Tim, thank you! And will do. Now who is going to teach me?

Fool, you send me the moose. I can get reindeer, but I don't think I have seen moose here.

Melissa ~ Wife to 1, Mom to 5 said...

Those pork chops are gorgeous! That was an amazing amount of meat procesed in 1 day.

alrescate said...

Bacon! *grin*

fullfreezer said...

Wow! Beautiful!!! I'm so impressed.

Phelan said...

Melissa, thank you. I used a bread knife to cut them. I was impressed myself.

Alrescate the bacon QUEEN!

Judy thank you. My head just keeps getting larger. :D

Chicago Mike said...

I am very impressed!

Curious to know how much money you saved with some daring and savvy!

Chicago Mike

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