Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How to Dress a Hog

As regular visitors to this blog already know, I spent his past weekend in Brancheville New Jersey slaughtering, butchering and cooking Mangalitsa pigs under the auspices of two of the world's leading breeders and artisan butchers of this very rare and exceedingly fat and fine beast, Christoph and Isabell Wiesner of Göllersdorf, Austria. Also in attendance was Heath Putnam who is responsible for introducing the Mangalitsa into North America and who's business Wooly Pigs supplies neutered boars to Micheal Clampffer who manages Mosefund Mangalitsa where the event was held.

The rest of the group was made of mostly of chefs, cooks and restaurateurs who use or want to use Mangalitsa pork in their work. But not everyone was a culinary professional, that's for damned sure. Morgan owns a bar in Houston and a farm where he's raising 40 Mangaltisa hogs. Phil, who took the photo at the top of the page,  is a surgeon who has a small farm in Seattle where he keeps a small herd of Scottish Highland cattle and, check this out, is building out a small yet-to-be-approved USDA abattoir for slaughtering and butchering. Another guy was a political scientist who works at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, DC. An eclectic bunch of people, for sure, all united by an abiding passion for taking charge of what they cook and eat in ways that most people would think are totally whacked.
Here is a video taken in the early morning hours of Saturday a few minutes after the pig that is being dressed was killed. There is a video of the killing here. I was surprised by the difference the in my response to seeing it on tape versus seeing it in person. When it was happening did not bother me at all, but when I watch the video I wince. Not sure what that is about.

I'm going to follow this video up soon with one that shows the pig being cut and gutted. I'll bet you can't wait.


Heath said...

Thanks for putting up the video.

I wince too when I see the pig pulled out of the bathtub. I don't know why that is.

I'm reminded of the fact that hunters often have big grins on their faces while posing next to a bloody kill. Non-hunters are often grossed out by those photos.

Jon in Albany said...

I saw a link awhile back to this farm in Vermont that is also building a slaughterhouse (the link was from the thislittlepiggy blog).

Perhaps the small scale slaughterhouse will be common in the future. Sounds like a big step forward.

Natalie Sztern said...

amazingly I did not wince, nor feel squeemish...I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing?