Monday, 19 February 2018

Pig Butchery Weekend

#####This post contains pictures of dead animals#####
I received a message the other day from a group I'm a member of asking me if I'd be interested in attending a butchery weekend.
The idea of the group is a great one, to share our skills and help each other learn to become more self reliant. 
The weekend would consist of butchering two pigs, one roe deer and some pheasants, we'd be shown how to do it by an ex butcher who grew up doing it, with lots of hands on experience for everyone as well. 
The amazing thing was that the only cost was for our share of the meat that we got to take home at the end. 
The pigs were some beautiful rare breed Berkshire pigs from the smallholding we were staying at and the deer from a local game dealer.
 It was amazing to get some hands on experience, I do a fair bit of butchery but to do it with someones guidance was so much better than a YouTube video.
 I particularly enjoyed the deboning of joints, such a handy skill and so hard to do to start with.
 I also managed to do the butchers knot. Something that I've never been able to do! I must make sure I practice it now and keep the skill in my mind!




There was such a lot of meat on the pigs and plenty of opportunity for us all to have a go. It was also with a great group of lads, lots of laughing and joking around.
We were set up in army style tents and did start to loose light. so we moved outside and then on to using a tilly lamp (I was impressed with how much light they give off!) Here we did the roe deer and the pheasants.

We had a feast that night of meat cooked over a BBQ and then Kevin (the host a different Kevin to me!) made two stews, one pheasant and one of deer as well as a huge tray of crackling! I was stuffed and went to bed full!
Our accommodation for the weekend was the same tents that we'd done the butchery in.
I was surprisingly warm the whole night, although I was the subject of much Micky taking when people realised that I had taken my pillow with me! I might be outside but I will have some comfort!
The next day we went on to sausage making, but I'll leave that for another post!
A great weekend though and I made lots of friends.

11 comments:

  1. Good for you!! Such a valuable skill to learn and maintain. Saw my Dad do it years ago but would have a difficult time if I had to do it now. Most people have never even seen it done. Hands on learning is best!!!

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    1. I think anyone could give it a go, but to do it Well takes some real skill. I get better with each animal but it's a slow road!

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  2. I am so jealous right now. No women attending?

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    1. Not on the first day but a couple on the second for the sausage making part. One would have bit only her or her partner could attend as they work at the same place.

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    2. You would have loved it by the way, right up your street.

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  3. A very useful skill to obtain. If I had the knowledge I'd buy half-Pigs myself. I did once buy half a neighbour's Pig, but THEY did all the butchering.

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    1. Yeah, I'm going to look at buying half pigs from now on. Just brought some salts so I can cure some as bacon as well! Should be another useful skill and a great way to preserve the meat.

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  4. Good for you! Did you learn how to kill them too?

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  5. Have always wanted to take such a class. Good on you. We raise our own hogs for meat but pay to have them processed. Was it very cold that night sleeping rough?

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  6. looks like a brilliant event well done on your butchery

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