Porky problems!

Anyone reading our ‘Creatures Great and Small’ page will know that we used to breed and/or raise our own pigs and that a lack of space and, to a lesser degree, time and expense, led to the demise of our piggy endeavours. Fortunately, our former piglet provider Paul (http://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com), over on the Isle of Raasay, is still able to satisfy our passion for pork by providing a full grown beast when our freezer stock gets low. It’s not quite the same as rearing our own animals for the table, but Paul’s piggies are happy ones, so that makes us happy too!


We had everything ready for a Thursday delivery of our latest whole carcass but because the staff at the abattoir hadn’t read the delivery instructions properly, this particular beast should probably have been presented with some kind of award for being the most well-travelled carcass in the history of the Highlands! Matters weren’t helped when an alternative delivery plan was thwarted by a landslide blocking a major road, leaving us waiting at a pre-arranged location with no pig and no update on the situation because the phone mast had blown down the previous day during gales! And guess what. Trying to use that outmoded form of communication, ‘The Public Phone Box’, was also a no-no because the one at hand was – surprise, surprise – OUT OF ORDER! Now, phone boxes are few and far between in this part of the world so we returned home to find two messages from Paul about the latest carcass cock-up which led to a final plan involving Paul’s wife, Barbara, delivering the goods personally the following day! It was wonderful to finally get our hands on that hog and proceed with cutting up that carcass…





The afternoon was spent, with extra help from dad, dividing the pork into suitable, freezable portions as well as submersing the legs and hocks in a pre-prepared, chilled ‘Whiltshire’ cure – predominantly beer and treacle. The bellies were skinned and cut, ready for sausages and some leaner meat from the shoulders along with some back fat was put aside for chorizo. We were almost as frozen as the pork by then, so called it a day!

Chop, chop!


Today we got on with sausage making both plain pork – seasoned only with salt and a good dose of white pepper – and chorizo. The smell of Spanish smoked paprika, red wine and garlic is enough to make your mouth water, not to mention the background beery, treacly aroma!


Chorizo mix


Fill the skins...


...tie with string...


...let them swing!


The final task of the day was to boil the head and a couple of the trotters with various herbs and spices for about four hours, until the meat is falling off the bone and ready to make brawn, but that’s tomorrow…





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