As the sun was rising in the sky early last Saturday morning, the water was boiling in the old copper and we were in full pig processing mode.
When it is clean, it's time for Brian to take the innards from the pig. We saved the heart and liver, which will be made into a stew for the dogs. The head was also saved for the meat in the cheeks, but the other parts of the head will also be made into dog food.
Yes, I did try to make brawn once or twice. It was a lot of effort, but we really didn't enjoy it, and the dogs need to eat too.
In fact nothing at all has been wasted, except the squeal..! (Sorry, you would have heard that many times before but I just had to put that in.
When we had cleaned up and put everything away, Brian slaughtered an old wether (male desexed sheep) which hung next to the pig in the cool room all week.
We planned on making pork and mutton sausages with some of the fatty parts of both animals.
We saved the bellies for making sausages.
Then we repeated the whole process to cut up the mutton, although there is not so much meat on a sheep and we will get through that in the next month or so. I saved on the cost of bags by packing the mutton roasts and chops into recycled bread bags and cheap freezer bags.
We saved the flap for making sausages and while I was packing the meat into freezers, Brian was de-boning meat for the mincer.
We love sausages, but don't love the commercial (and mostly artificial) ingredients that they contain when purchased from a butcher or supermarket.
The casings were purchased on line and are made from pig intestines.
My facial expressions whilst perfecting my sausage winding skills were apparently quite amusing and a photo or two was clicked. No way they are going onto this page though!
This morning I've packed all of the 21 kilograms of sausages into meal size packs. Some in plastic freezer bags and some in vacuum seal bags, which we will eat last.
I wonder how long these will last?
Do you re-use your vacuum seal bags? I do.
They are quite expensive, although I buy them much cheaper on-line. I can usually get two or three uses from one bag by cutting open carefully at the very end, close to the seal. Wash carefully in warm soapy water, rinse well, allow to dry. They get smaller with each use.
The varieties we made are;
Sundried Tomato with onion and herbs,
Sally's Special with caraway seeds, chives etc,
Guess what's for dinner tonight?