Episode 56 – Pig Day


Pig Day. This was my 5th annual pig day – the one day a year we spend putting up all the pork we’ll eat for the entire year. If we run out, one waits until the next pig arrives. This site is long enough in the tooth to have documented the 1st annual Pig Day. I’m sure it will document many more.

This one was particularly memorable. Twitter made me aware of rock-star-in-hiding Elyse Chatterton, a Master Butcher from the UK with some serious meat cutting skills. A half bottle of wine made me brave enough to invite her. After that, a number of invitations went out to friends, and we all of a sudden had a crew of 12 and 10 sides of Tamworth for 2012’s Pig Day – including the farmers that raised the pigs. A full day of sharing, cutting beautiful pork, hard work, eating, drinking, with the air wafting with wood smoke and conversation. Not sure there’s more one can ask for.

The video features Elyse talking through how she’s accustomed to breaking down a pork, UK-style, and Shannon Ruzicka speaking to how the pigs are raised. And yes there was some roast tying race action. And yes, she won with ease.

11 Responses

  1. David Kahane says:


  2. Nicola says:

    wow – that’s a lot of cutting up! It’s great to have a crew working at it!

  3. Sherri says:

    Seriously beautiful meat! Really liked the commentary – interesting to hear the differences in the cuts over the UK.

  4. David Smith says:

    Interesting, the bit about the UK preference for leaving the kidney attached to the chop. Had not heard of that before. Nicely done.

  5. Love the ending! And all the parts before that too!

  6. becky30086 says:

    Very nice. I learned a lot and that was one fat pig!

  7. Adam Stevens says:

    Epic. Wonderful. Not going to Costco any time soon… Pigs are on the farm plan for next year…

  8. Fantastic pork chops especially with the kidney …. Well done to the girls

  9. Nicola Cunha says:

    What great timing! We`re going to see some Tamworth piglets tomorrow – fingers crossed

  10. Emily says:

    Oooh, we just had pig day today! Well, I should say we helped friends kill and gut three pigs and ours is laying frozen in the back of the truck right now. We are going to cut it up later in the week. I scraped and cleaned intestines tonight. I saved the head for head cheese. I am looking forward to curing and smoking bacon and ham. I’m going to make a few different kinds of sausage and I think I’m going to make some salami for the first time. I’d really like to do a dry salt cured ham, but I don’t know if I have the patience to wait a year. Will be grinding meat and fat and rendering lard this week. I kept the liver and thought I’d grind it up with some sausage. I’m thinking we might raise a couple pigs next summer. I’d like to know exactly what they are eating, and I’ve got a pen with five years of goat bedding built up that I’d like them to till for me.

  11. Emily- The pigs were eating wheat, peas, and barley, a third of each. Plus they had free reign of the bush so what ever roots, fruits, or forest creatures they could find. We were also raising other pigs with the same grain ration but forging alfalfa and grasses. If you want anymore info feel free to email us!

Leave a Reply

− 3 = four