Something I've never really talked about here is what role the non-breeding animals play at the farm.
It's one of those things that I'm never really sure how it will be received so animals that were one featured just kind of... disappear.
A couple weeks ago we put beef in the freezer. We ground the tallow down to make suet cakes, the prime cuts went into steaks, and the rest we ground into both seasoned and unseasoned beef. (Jerky seasoned beef mixed into a burger is AMAZING.)
Then it was time to put some pork in the freezer. We spent an afternoon getting her from standing to prepped for processing. We're trying out a roasted pork belly recipe. The leaf lard will be rendered for when Mum makes doughnuts. The rest was cut into chops, tenderloin, roasts, and cured into bacon and hams. We're also attempting guanciale. I've had success with pancetta so were going to use the belly ends for that.
Last night we packaged up the pork shoulder that we cured into bacon. It's headed for the smoker but we cooked up the ends. Man that's delicious. It's salty and porky and sweet and just.... Yum. Oh and these chops.
I guess what I'm saying here is that our respect and care for these animals extends even beyond their lives. I've got at least two meals on the menu this week that use our farm raised meat. We aren't USDA certified (or even trained meat cutters) so we can't sell any of it so instead it goes to feed our families.
And it keeps us connected to this land and these animals and how genuinely fortunate we really are.
Future plans at the farm may include some meat sales but for now we will keep breeding and raising these amazing and very, very delicious pigs.
And I'll have all the anxiety while on baby watch for you!