The last time we did it we reserved a fair bit of the meat for cooking as-is -- i.e., we saved pork shoulders and hams, and made only the leftover scraps into Italian and Polish sausage. We ended up loving the sausage so much that we vowed to make almost everything, save the loins, tenderloins, and ribs, into sausage.
|Thank you, lovely piggies!|
We met our pigs in the morning. They had been raised as show pigs, but didn't quite make the cut, so the farmer sold them off. They were lovely animals that obviously had been very well cared for. The time they spent at Uncle D's place seemed quite enjoyable for them, as they had the run of a huge pen, and seemed to have a whole lot of fun playing with the dog. I am very thankful to them (especially the one on the right, who was our pig) for providing us with food for probably the next year or so.
After we got them butchered, we trimmed up the pieces of meat, kept a few pieces for cooking as-is, and ground up the rest for sausage. I made a batch of Italian sausage, as well as two different Kielbasa recipes. We left the Italian sausage fresh, but smoked the two batches of Polish sausage. We put the sausages into the smoker at about 7:30 p.m., waited for the temperature to reach a certain point, then checked the smoker every hour until the internal temperature of the sausage reached the "golden point." That took us until 2:30 in the morning. We got started at 8:00 a.m., and a mere 17.5 hours later we ended up with about 65 pounds of sausage, 25 lbs of loins (pork chops!), two tenderloins, and two racks of ribs.
|Piles of sausage, all smoked and ready for packaging.|
|Our chest freezer, half way full, and waiting for the rest that was freezing in the upright chest freezer.|
|Ribs, all ready to steam.|
|All rubbed and ready to grill.|
Our "let's make some ribs" idea quickly turned into a "let's make a Southern feast" scheme. So, we cooked up some turnip greens and baked beans, along with baked potatoes and a salad. It was AMAZING, if I may say so myself! Everyone at the table was very quiet through the whole dinner, and ended up covered in barbecue (I had dry rub on my elbows at the end of it all). I took that as a good sign!
|CW's plate. That's a lotta ribs!|