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Preserving a whole pig without refrigeration — The Grow Network Community
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Preserving a whole pig without refrigeration

Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,712 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited February 22 in Pigs

I'll probably get two feeder pigs this spring. Wither the electricity issues our area is having (they waited too long to do repairs so we are held together on the grid with rubber bands and duct tape) I am looking to alternative ways to keep produce and meat.



  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,774 admin

    One of our sons expressed interest in getting two weaners this spring. He will raise them, learn to butcher them and make our traditional Mennonite farmers sausage (a touch of sugar & salt only...no salt peter or any other unnecessary additives like that). Of course, we will buy them off of him since we eat so much meat here. I love that sausage! It is our chosen fast food.

    I will take a look at your link. We usually freeze our pork, so it will be an interesting read for me.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 3,404 admin

    We always used salt, pepper and smoke on the farm. The meat was portioned to be placed in a box and covered with salt. Then, coated in pepper mixed with lard to keep the bugs off and hung in the smoke house to be smoked and aged. The main thing is to keep rats out. The smoke and pepper deter most pests, but hardware cloth over the vents is essential. An insect called "skips" were our main concern, and the longer aged hams were sewn in cloth bags to help deter them. My grandmother canned most of her sausage, in regular canning jars, with a thick layer of rendered lard on top. My favorite was the air dried sausage, which was hung with the hams to age in natural casing like salami. Organ meats were mostly eaten fresh - all except for head cheese, which included the eyes, tongue and brain. That was preserved in a natural aspic with salt, pepper and vinegar... and so good!

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,712 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 22

    We have been guaranteed at least two years of very bad electrical power in our area with tons of power shortages. So my whole thought here recently is how can I help and protect myself during this time.

    That is so cool about your son and his project.

    The mennonite Farmers sausage sounds good.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,774 admin
    edited February 23

    Okay, @Denise Grant, this is a generations past recipe, handed down through the family. My family had a slightly different variation. This is my husband's family's recipe.

    For the best sausage, you put all but ribs & porkchops in. Neither meat in the recipe can be too lean. We go by feel. It's something you will learn. Some fat is needed for flavor & mouth feel (it shouldn't be a hard sausage).

    90 lb ground pork, 10 lb ground beef, 1 c. sugar, 1 c. salt. Mix well. Put this into prepared sausage casings. Smoke on low heat (fat dripping a little) for 1 to 2 hours. It is to flavor, not to cook. Smoking works best if sausage is left overnight.

    That's it.

    Traditionally, it is served with potatoes and heavy cream gravy. I like eating it with pluma moos (a fruit soup...cherries, raisins & peaches with water & cornstarch is my favorite) and is an Easter dish. It is so good! I have the recipes somewhere in TGN's recipe section. Search for "cultural" or "Mennonite".

    Now my mouth is watering. Oh my. Sigh. I have to wait...

  • vickeymvickeym Posts: 713 ✭✭✭✭

    LaurieLovesLearning The sausage sounds wonderful. I assume it is kept frozen after the smoking, since it is not meant to be hard?

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,774 admin

    Yes, it is kept frozen.

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,712 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning Thank you for sharing. This will be a prized recipe and I will definitely make this.

  • monica197monica197 Posts: 731 ✭✭✭✭

    I just rendered leaf lard yesterday for the first time! Though I am opting for the frig storage method, I have read that this is shelf stable. What have you heard?

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,774 admin

    One comment on the "extras" out of that rendering @monica197...I hope you kept those! We call those crunchy morsels cracklin's. I love a bit mixed into mashed potatoes.

    This is a bad thread for me. I want these things so much right now. I can taste it all.

  • monica197monica197 Posts: 731 ✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning of course - they are right in my frig - I try to waste as little as possible - in made potatoes...that sounds good - I thought I could use them when I make a stir fry or soup and I am frying the onions to start - how else do you use them?

    Looks like you need a trip to the farm for some leaf lard! LOL

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,774 admin

    I am on the farm, just without pigs...for now. Funny thing, I can look at a pig & tell them how tasty they look. Now I think that's a complement! 😄

    I have never done this, but I would try them as bacon bits in salad. Anywhere you can use bacon bits, you should be able to use these.

    Some time ago, I saw a bacon maple syrup flavored type muffin. Maybe that would be something to experiment with? Or just throw them into pancakes? How about with popcorn & cheese?

    When I was young, I ate so many cracklin's I felt sick. Haha As much as they are addictive, it's nothing I cared to repeat!

  • monica197monica197 Posts: 731 ✭✭✭✭

    I know what you mean - not that I ate a lot that night but I have to be SUPER careful because my gall bladder needs to be able to keep up when I ingest fats. @LaurieLovesLearning

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