Hog going to butcher - what cuts to get

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atcNick
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Hog going to butcher - what cuts to get

Post by atcNick » Mon Feb 04, 2013 18:45

I've got a hog going to the butcher today. I've never done this before so I dont know what all cuts are available.

Im thinking:

2 sides of bacon
2 whole hams (or cut in two)
2 racks of spare ribs
1 rack of baby backs
pork loin attached to the ribs, so I can have the option to cut into chops or keep as a roast
2 shoulders
2 picnics
4 hocks??
jowl meat
back fat

How does this look? Am I missing any part of the pig that would normally be eaten? Dont want any organs. I wonder if the jowl meat (for guanciale) is something an east Texas country butcher would normally cut?

All advice is appreciated!!
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Post by story28 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 19:03

You could get the leaf lard too. That is nice for baking. The creamy fat surrounding the belly is pretty fun to work with as long as it is very fresh. And don't forget about the feet, tail, and nose!

Skin on is nice because you can make pork rinds, cracklins, or a nice porchetta with crispy skin. But, the skin takes skill and patience to remove without wasting fat attached to it.

If the pig is skinned, sometimes you will see processors keep the jowl attached to the front shoulder by detaching it from the head and leaving it attached on the other end.

If you have a whole hog, cut in parts - you might want ask the butcher what he charges for those sub primal cuts. If you have the know-how or if you are up for a challenge, I would imagine you could save a tremendous amount of money buying in primals and doing the butchery yourself.

In our case, if we need sub primals for a special order for a customer, we pay a 10% to 25% increase in price per pound for the service, depending on the farmer and processor. It's not that difficult to cut from primal to sub primal once you know how to do it. Go for it!
Last edited by story28 on Mon Feb 04, 2013 19:06, edited 2 times in total.
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redzed
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Post by redzed » Mon Feb 04, 2013 19:04

I think you have pretty well covered it. From the side that you want back ribs you will also get a loin and tenderloin. removing the jowl portion from the head is standard practice and takes only a minute. I would also save the feet and head, and along with the hocks make some headcheese. Also don't waste the leaf lard, render it down and use for cooking. Much tastier and healthier than butter. There will also be fat and meat trimmings that you can use for sausage.

You are lucky to have a whole hog at your disposal. The taste will undoubtedly be superior to supermarket pork. There is a local farmer in our area that raises pork and sell to specialty shops and Vancouver restaurants. He wants 3.50 for a dressed hog weighing 180lbs. I would like to get one but that is a bit too expensive for me.
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Post by atcNick » Tue Feb 05, 2013 01:52

Well I got everything except bacon! The guy said that they just werent big enough to have bacon. He said I could have good ribs, or puney ribs and puney bacon. Oh well.
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Post by ssorllih » Tue Feb 05, 2013 02:43

How much weight?
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Post by atcNick » Tue Feb 05, 2013 05:46

We didnt weigh them but the butcher estimated 175lb hanging weight.
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Post by Big Guy » Tue Feb 05, 2013 13:33

What happened to the liver and Kidneys?
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Post by atcNick » Wed Feb 06, 2013 02:54

Big Guy wrote:What happened to the liver and Kidneys?
Probably going to get tossed. I don't think this butcher gets too many requests for that. Wouldnt know what to do with them anyways.
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Post by ssorllih » Wed Feb 06, 2013 03:37

They work well in sausage.
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