We will have some fresh outdoor-reared, rare breed Tamworth pork available for sale over the weekend of Sat 22/Sun 23 August. This can be collected in person (by prior arrangement) or could be delivered if you live within the Allen Valleys area.
Most standard cuts will be available including roasting joints, chops, steaks, sausages among others with everything vacuum packed and labelled by the butchers before we collect it. As a rough guide, we expect to have a selection of 1.5kg and 2kg roasting joints available as well as chops, sausages, etc in packs weighing around 350-500g.
Pre-orders are recommended to avoid disappointment, particularly if you want something specific as we will only have a limited amount on this occasion.
Please complete the form below to let us know what you would like or find out more information and we’ll be in touch.
This was just a gentle introduction to bacon curing and sausage making although just before Christmas there was also a flurry of curing ham as well but the process for that is actually much the same as for bacon. It might be just plain beginners luck but these turned out well and the results were very well received over the Christmas period!
Another burst of sausage making only yesterday reminded me of a couple of extra points which I have now included but I’m sure there’ll probably be a few more additions or changes as time goes on.
The Processing Pork page has been added mainly as a reference for the methods and recipes used this time around so that I can look back at the information when our next lot of weaners arrive back from the butchers. If this page also helps others as well then that’s a bonus and if there are any glaring errors or omissions then please let me know so I can correct them!
As it turned out, the end of 2013 also coincided with the end for a couple of spare cockerels from the clutch of eggs that hatched during the summer. Perhaps not the most celebratory of starts to New Years Eve but the job needed to be done.
While still not a pleasant task, the steps are more clear now and once I work up the nerve the actual killing is done with minimal stress for both the birds and me!
Plucking is another story and for some strange reason I find myself unable to take that on. I can deal with the killing and the butchering later on so perhaps I just need that intervening time to deal with the change from live animal to carcass.
There are 2 or 3 more unwanted “gentlemen” still with the flock so it’s only a matter of time before they get dealt with too. For the moment, they don’t realise their lucky escape by not perching close to the door of the coop but the clock is ticking for them as well
New year, New start
The start of a new year is always a good time to think ahead to the growing season but as usual I’m way ahead of myself and thinking about the raised vegetable beds already!
A handy coil of old water piping behind a barn was soon put to good use and I’m quite impressed with the results. There is even enough piping left over to deal with a couple more raised beds and even better, a little less rubbish left behind the barn!
I’m not sure where to get the plastic (or netting) to put over this but I’m sure that Google will be able to point me in the right direction. Once that is in place I can see whether there are any noticeable benefits and that might help me decide about getting a greenhouse and/or a polytunnel in future.
Rain stopped play
After the rain set on for the afternoon, the obvious plan was to head for the kitchen and get on with some other jobs.
There was a quick round of sausage making – pork and leek if you’re interested – as we had just about run out over the Christmas period. Due to a miscalculation with the length of sausage casings, I’m left with a supply of sausage meat which will probably be used to make Scotch Eggs or maybe try a “Scotch Egg Pie” recipe I’ve come across.
The moment of glory for this afternoons efforts was the loaf of bread though. In my humble opinion a quite spectacular loaf and proof enough for me that I have mastered my basic loaf recipe based on one I found on the New Zealand Kitchen Aid website.
All in all, an excellent, productive day and a good start to the new year!
Around the middle of July, just 7 weeks after moving to our new house, we started our first attempt at rearing pigs. The two Tamworth weaners were collected by car using a borrowed dog cage with surprisingly little difficulty and only a slightly unsavoury smell.
On arriving home they were installed in their woodland home and immediately started eating anything that looked remotely tasty. Not many pigs get to live in such beautiful surroundings although I think the wall might be a little high for them to really appreciate the far reaching views!
Before long the 2 pigs had worked their way round most of the boundary clearing everything that was in their path! This was not entirely unexpected though and their home had been carefully chosen as it only had very well established trees, everything else in there was considered expendable.
Luckily, and through no great skill on our part, the 2 pigs had no health issues so although we had already identified a suitable vet they were never needed! This is one of the best parts of only raising weaners for a few months before any proper winter weather sets in.
Feeding time twice a day was always entertaining and never became a chore. There was something very soothing about the short walk round to the woods and the time spent with the pigs. I’m not sure that I appreciated refilling their water troughs so often but I expect they enjoyed turning them over soon after I’d left!
Over time each one developed their own personality which made it tough t times not to get too attached to them.
Predictably the time soon came around when they reached about 6/7 months old and needed to head off to the abattoir. Preparations were started well ahead of time for things like ear tagging the pigs so that by the day before their trip we had everything in order.
The woods now have a few months to recover and we have time to consider our next move. However it seems certain to me that we’ll have another batch of weaners next year because these two were so easy to look after and we have such great facilities for pigs in the woods.
When it came to unloading the two pigs at the abattoir, they were treated very well and I was able to help herd them into their own pen in the holding area. They were remarkably relaxed despite being in a completely new environment and it was interesting to see the (smaller) Gloucester Old Spots that were in the next door pen. Maybe that’s a breed to try next?
The next week was spent wondering how much pork we would get back and what would we do with it all! The answer is clear from the photo below, it was around 120kg in total
The chest freezer is now pretty full of roasting joints and chops but at least it coped with the load! Also the past weekend included a start on dry curing some bacon but I’m not very confident about the results of that at the moment, time will tell.
The sausage making on the other hand is getting better which each batch that are made. First up was pork and leek flavour then the next day it was Cumberland but all of them were headed for the freezer. Of course some of the sausage meat was cooked up for testing purposes just to be sure they’ll turn out okay.
I’m not sure we can sensibly eat pork more that 3 times a week but there are many ways to process or cook it.
This is a good moment for family and friends to rally round and support us by taking some of the huge quantity of meat off our hands. This time there might be some freebies for them as we’re just trying the whole process out – next time around we may not be so generous!
It’s always a good day when the post man delivers a parcel, the tightly wrapped cardboard box is a tempting prospect that is hard to ignore. Even when I know what is inside the sense of eagerness to open the box is powerful
Since we moved here there have regularly been problems with deliveries going to neighbouring houses which have similar names to our house. On one such occasion our neighbours were away for a few days and got back to find that UPS had tried to deliver 3 times and each time they went to the wrong house!.
This is most likely because the first house name that delivery drivers come across are like ours (but a word less) so they don’t bother to read the full address as written. Where possible I now make sure to emphasise this crucial piece of information in the delivery instructions on-line but it’s not always possible.
As luck would have it, on this occasion they did go to the correct house for once… unfortunately no one was home at the time so the parcel was taken to the local post office!
So what is it?
What was inside the parcel you may ask? It was our shiny new mincer/sausage stuffer in preparation for when the pigs come back from the butchers around the end of this month. We will be having another trial run at making sausages very soon using meat from the local butchers to make sure we perfect our ideas in good time