Of interest to farmers, chefs and homesteaders, this three part workshop will highlight traditional hog processing techniques familiar to farmers generations ago, but lost to many of us in these modern times.
Dates for the workshop are:
December 10th, slaughter and processing, 9 – 4, in Dublin NH at Dancing Dog Farm.
December 18th, butchery, 9 – 4, in Salisbury, NH at Henwyn Farm and
December 20th, curing and preserving, in Dublin once again at Dancing Dog Farm.
Workshop Fee is $150 for all three days, or $60 per day. Workshop participants will be actively involved in all three days.
Contact Carol Lake, Dancing Dog Farm, 603.563-8122 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Humane Slaughter & Processing
Students will learn how to slaughter pigs humanely, with elegance and utility. Edward Epsen of Henwynn Farm will demonstrate specialized organ extraction, blood harvest, and preservation of the extreme parts to maximize value. Ed uses the technique of scalding and scraping so that you get a carcass with skin on. Other custom cutters will skin the animal, losing much of the value in the process. In addition to the overall loss of edible skin and hyperdermic fat, you would lose the value of the fatback, the head (including the jowls), and the feet.
On Butchery day workshop participants will learn how to break down a whole side of pork into primal and secondary cuts with nothing more than four hand tools. This also increases the value of your cuts because they are made cleanly with a knife, which reduces oxidation and nutrient loss. Our approach will emphasize porcine physiology, identifying different muscular, skeletal, and connective tissue groups. You will learn how to render the carcass into an assortment of cuts that are most useful for your kitchen, how to minimize bone dust, oxidation, and waste, and how to wrap meat for maximum storage life in the freezer. Finally, we wrap the meat using clinging plastic and butcher paper, not vacuum-sealed packs, which can lose their seal when handled or shifted around in the freezer.
Preserving Pork without Refrigeration
For the third session we will cover a combination of curing, cooking, and sausage making. Students will learn the traditional art of preserving pork without refrigeration, which generally involves three categories of technique: wet-curing, dry-curing, and confitting. Possible special topics and fees include the following.
Fromage de tete (head cheese)
Black pudding / blood sausage
Pate de campagne (rustic pork liver pate)
Rillette (a kind of pulled pork confit that will last indefinitely in the fridge or cellar)
Fresh linked sausages
Things we start together and you finish:
Dancing Dog Farm is a family homestead farm in Dublin NH that emphasizes biodynamic agriculture and permaculture. Henwyn Farm is a small-scale certified natural farm featuring rare heritage breed hogs raised on pasture and woodland, located in the Merrimack Valley of central New Hampshire.