Friday, September 9, 2011

Pig - using everything but the Oink!

Well, the title is misleading, but I like it, and one day, maybe I will........

We recently killed a pig and I decided to have my first crack at bacon, make some brawn and try some things that we don't normally eat. We had some of the liver, which we don't normally eat and I don't think we will bother again! It's a lot stronger than beef liver.

Today I had my first try of the brawn.....I will be doing that again! It's made from the head and the feet of the pig. I did half a head and two trotters - next time I would add more meatie stuff like the hocks or shoulder chops, but even as it is it's really good and it just set so perfectly. The addition of the trotters is to add the extra geletin that's needed to make it set and hold together. When I cooked the brawn I included both ears, but took them out before making the brawn. I wanted to try something with them, as I'd seen a recipe in a recipe book - Crispy Pigs Ears. The recipe didn't quite work, but it was very good.

The ears are sliced and then crumbed and fried and finished off in the oven. My crumbs didn't stick but the idea is good and I will be trying again to perfect it - just need to wait until we kill another pig. I served the ears with some wilted greens - shallots, asparagus, snowpeas and warrigal greens. Everything was home grown - well, the warrigal greens were picked out of the paddock. They are a native green vegetable and is used just like spinach. It grows on creek and river flats naturally, and is really nice. It's similar to spinach in that it should be cooked, although I have used it in pesto and salads without any dramas. I think you need to eat about 4 cups in one sitting to be a problem, so that's not likely!

If anyone wants the recipe for Brawn or Crispy Pigs Ears, you will have to ask for it. I will post a photo of my brawn as it looked really good!

The bacon was also really good! I didn't smoke it as I don't have a smoke house, it was just cured in the fridge for a couple of weeks and then I sliced it. So simple and I don't know why I haven't done it before. My brother just visited and brought me some home smoked ham and bacon, so I will enjoy comparing my bacon with his!

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