Here’s what can happen when your neighbor says: “I know a guy who raises pigs – want to split one?”
Even though all of us involved in this caper had purchased whole animals before, none of us had ever had to complete the butchering ourselves! In fact, when Sean went to pick it up, he was faced with an entire pig split into two halves. Despite being a pretty confident and intrepid guy, Sean had to take a step back and ask his friend to at least break the pig down into primal cuts, which is how I ended up with these pieces on my dining room table. Oh, and that piece I identified in the video as the “fatback?” Silly me, I finally wised up and sliced it into thick boneless chops.
The resulting cuts were not beautiful, but whichever way we’ve cut and cooked it, this pork is delicious. The fat is silky and rich, the meat is supremely tender and tastes of the sweet muskiness of forests, which is where this pig was raised. It would be an insult to call this pork “the other white meat” or “the other” anything. This pork has tremendous character and flavor, well worth the learning curve of getting it reduced to workable and freezable portions, maybe even enhanced by how hands-on I had to be to get it to the plate. To me, that’s the joy of eating local!