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Bringing home the Bacon. Lots of pics.

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As many are "Town-ies" or City dwellers now, it is becoming rare that we process our own animals and foods.

In a previous Thread I started I showed what we do with a half of a pig each year, this year I will show you the start of the task and what we do to prepare the pig for butchering and making our smallgoods. This part is not such a family affair as compared to the processing the next day. 

Previous links to other thread -



In the beginning there was three fat piggies

Only one didn't come home, did she........ :whistle:

So as it has been a cultural traditional thing over the past many years that I have been doing this with my father in-law, family and friends,
- we wait until the moon is right, the nights are cold, his mate is ready and all our testicles are hanging to the left.
Bloody Italians, cant we just do this at any time of the year?
" NO! " - :lol: "This is how it has always been done by my Father and his Father's Father's Father back in my home and village in Italy"
What can I say to that ?
Just join in and learn from many years of experience passed down.

Up before Dawn even showed her cracks, over to the Father In-laws house and waited for his mate.
All together now, we went the extra long way around to the farm and turned up to orchards of heavily laden olive trees,
a copper of water boiling away over a fire, and as we headed into the shed the farmer and his wife came out.
LOT'S of warm greetings, they were pleased to see me, it has been awhile.

Short black coffee, piece of home made cake and off to choose the pig.
The old boys left and took the tractor, I stayed and prepared with the Mrs while catching up on the past few years.

Boys return with the pig and the story begins.
She weighs in around 170kg and was calm but not too happy to be carted around.
When doing this you want the pig to be calm, so all those hormones stay out of the system before it is dispatched.

This is done in different ways by different people, the usual here is to restrain the pig and dispatch her with a 22,
once her muscle spasms have settled down we puncture her neck arteries to bleed her while the heart is still pumping.
This blood is collected to be made into a few items, the majority is stirred very quickly while being collected and this motion
prevents the blood from coagulating as it cools, the rest is allowed to coagulate into a firm red/brown pudding texture,
more on this later at the end.


After this, it is time to clean the outside of the pig, that's what the copper of boiling water is for.
Pretty basically you pour boiling water over a patch of hair about a square foot in area, and keep pouring boiling water there until
the hair plucks out easily. ( a lot like scalding before plucking chickens or other birds )
Then you have at it with a knife and scrape the hair and surface scalded skin off before it cools, next patch, next patch etc
If it does cool just use more boiling water and keep scraping, legs and head, bum, tummy, back and shoulders.
Then flip over and do the other side in same order.
When scraping you use the sharp edge of the knife almost like shaving, it does need downwards force and sometimes two hands.

A lot more to come guys.....
Edited by 17hornet
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After the body is done then it is time to remove the toenails, fill a tin bucket with boiling water and soak the feet in it until all the
toenails pull off easy with a pair of pliers, remove them all now.
So now hair-less and nail-less, we blow torch any area's that have fuzz we could not scrape off, a weed burner is used for this.


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BUT before we blow torch her we have to check for any life signs.
So now the pig should be all cleaned from hair, toenails, snout and ear wax !
Check to make sure she is dead.

The following pictures show the two best methods to do this..

1/ Tug on the tail firmly! If there is no response she may be playing possum. :unsure:



2/ Put your pointer in her bum! If she was playing possum this is about the time you will find out! :woohoo: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:



Burning off the remaining fuzz




So now she is laid out naked and we have to make sure that the animal is ultra clean and food safe, this is done the traditional way
with salt and lemons for the acid, two things that over history have served man to sterilise and stop infection and bacteria.
So after giving her a good wash off with fresh water, the pig is now treated to her very own skin cleansing program, covered in heaps of salt
and scrubbed down with lemons cut in half, every inch is done at least twice this way.
We have NEVER had any issues with food contamination because of doing this.



Good dose of salt to cover her and rub it in well.




Cut the lemons, and we scrub her down vigorously while rubbing in the salt and squeezing the lemons,
the more salt and lemons the better, even between the toes.

TO be continued......

Edited by 17hornet
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WARNING, the following pictures are graphic in nature.

Please do not proceed if you are squeamish or upset by blood.

This article is about the butchering and use of meat, it is for education purposes

and relates to " home kill " of animals and their use as a food source.





Time to hang her up by her ankle tendons and remove the head.
Once the head is off, it is split because the boys share a half each, I kept the brain for cooking up
and strangely it was not smashed up or bruised from the dispatch.




Then its time to clear out the internals. In the past care has been taken to "tie off" the bowel and the bladder with string to stop
any possible spillage, not this time though.
A ring of flesh is cut around the anus and its pulled out and away from the open body cavity, care is taken to remove the bladder
and pee hole from the body, entrails and organs.

A hatchet is used to break the pubic bone and the sternum

Now to remove everything else and save what will be used later.
All the organs, the small intestine and the fat lining the outside of the stomach are used.




This is the heart, lungs, kidneys and some other bits covered by the fat lining from the stomach outer

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The small intestine is cut into usable sections (about thirds), then cleaned out just by using water inside to loosen the material which is
pushed out and rinsed through a few times more, then it is turned inside out and washed again.
When using gut for sausage skins it must be inside out so that the original outside is contacting the meat, if not the meat will taste
and smell of the 'internal' gut contents. Before use it is soaked in hot water with lemon and orange rind and then has some white wine added to the hot water and some poured inside also as a cleansing agent.

Everything else that can not be used, is out for the 'earth' to be buried as fertiliser.

Even the Italians dont want to use these bits.. :sick:

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The pig is split into halves with a reciprocating saw, weighed and cut into thirds for one man, and left whole for my Father in-law, loaded and
covered from prying eye's for the return trip home, to be hung in the cold air of the shed, ready for the next days work making
The Pig into small-goods.

There wasnt even 500gms difference between the two halves, the boys have been doing this for many years now, but both see it as a dying
Even a friend that assists has started just buying the meat from a local IGA, and others from butchers.
That could be due to their age and less strength as well as less complication.
But they are ALL sad to see that none of their children are taking this on, and practising skills and keeping knowledge alive of past times.

Hard work done for the day so we could snack, home made wine, pizza bread, pecorino cheese

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BONUS material....

Using the blood from the pig.

Different nationalities use blood, my heritage is German and they often use the blood in a 'blutwurst', my Italian family use it in sausage,
pasta sauce, and fried as a cooked meal.
It is first boiled to a thick dense block and then cooled and dried, then it is sliced thin and fried with onion, garlic, butter, salt, pepper and chili.

I tried this fried blood, it is strong in flavour and VERY rich with texture and also filling.
But 24hrs later you know that you ate it ! and if you ate a bit much you know for 48hrs... :whistle: :S :lol: :lol: :lol:
So I recommend eating it in moderation. :blush:


Special Extra Bonus -

A fast instant dispatch with a .22

There is a lot said about the power of a .22lr cartridge, mostly "not for" the use of pig shooting but I was surprised to see
just how far this projectile had travelled.
Usually it is lodged in the brain cavity, and we find this when splitting the head in half, this time it was down into the fat of the shoulder
of the pig with quite a wound cavity, luckily not in any meat.
Looks like it is a round nose solid CCI.
It had passed through the forehead skull, brain, back of the skull and down about 12" into the neck and shoulder fat - pretty respectful penetration.

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Some of the BBQ pics.

The best part of the day, fresh pork steak, liver, ribs a plenty etc etc :woohoo:

We always cook up some of the sausage mix to taste and see if anything needs to be added,
EACH lot of minced meat is cooked and tasted, once its in the skin, its too late.


Soak a bit of lard grease into the bread - Yumo..


My favourite, the liver with bay leaf.... I was salivating, and swear I blissed out at the first bite. :blush:


Pizza bread

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Excellent write up that mate and thank you for going to the trouble. That grub on the BBQ hot plate looks proper. Atb. 

Cheers Arry

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Firstly a brilliant post.  I love to hear about the old ways and learn a thing or two thanks for sharing

But you did make me laugh out loud.  Now lets see if I got this right......

Shot to the head

Bleed out

Scald in boiling water and remove hair and first layer of skin

Soak toe nails in boiling water and remove with pliers

Then you yank its tail and shove your finger up its chocolate starfish to your third knuckle  to see if it's playing Possum

Mate you nearly killed me laughing 

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