Wednesday, February 10, 2010


WARNING: This is not a post for someone with a weak stomach. You will see blood and guts in this post, so if you can't handle please to not read any farther and come back on Monday when you can read about cooking and less messy things.

Last weekend was a butchering weekend in Stockham. Which is where a group of men and women get together and butcher hogs.

I'm not talking a few hogs.

There were 14 hogs.

This is a two day project, starting with live hogs on Friday afternoon and finishing up the butchering process on Saturday by evening.

I won't explain the little details, but I will lightly cover what happens during butchering.
The goal of Friday is to strip the hog down to nothing but meat and bones.

At this point the hog is split into two halves.

Then the hogs hang over night, so they can be processed in the morning.
That is quiet a line up.

Various parts of the pig soaking in water.

The meat is then cut into sections. Can you see the ribs?

Each family has a different way of processing the meat. Some make brats, some make breakfast sausage, pork chops and any other type of pork cut or product you can think of.

They render the lard in a big kettle to make cracklings.

In the beginning it doesn't look very good.

But after hours of stirring, the little pieces of meat can be sifted out and the lard can be saved for cooking or discarded. I got some lard, which I plan to use for some Mennonite Monday recipes in the future.

Check back on Friday, to see how liver sausage is made.


  1. This post will do nothing for your vegetarian friends I'm afraid!

  2. Cracklings and home-rendered lard are the best!! I hope you make rolls or bierocks using the lard because it really adds great flavor to them.