Saturday, December 31, 2011

Mmmm... Pork

(and I reallly need to clean the oven...)

Pork "shoulder" roast with potatoes... Mmmm. Problem is, when I unwrapped this roast to season it (butcher paper labeled "shoulder roast") there were 3 RIBS attached to the roast. Wth? Maybe I'm stupid, but I didn't know there were ribs in the shoulder? I had to cut cartilage and bones out of this, and then trim, roll, and tie the roast. Ugh. Just when I think I've calmed down about the way our local butcher mangled our pigs, I get fired up again. Can anyone explain to me how there would be rib bones in the shoulder? Regardless, considering that we wanted all our roasts to be boneless... Sigh. So, add boney shoulder roasts to bone-in loin roasts, no tenderloin, and all thick (no thin) cut bacon, and my brain is boiling. We're soooo going to have our hogs hauled down to Hubbard next year where we'll try Voget Meats. Though we may take some ground into the sucky butcher to have brats made... Their brats are excellent.

Anyhow, this roast was definitely delicious. I don't think we could ever go back to store-bought pork. We gave some friends a shoulder roast instead of a bottle of wine as a host gift when they threw a party a couple weeks back. For Christmas, they got a new smoker, and tried it out on the roast. Apparently the results were spectacular. So, they went out and bought another roast at the store to make the meal again. Well, our buddy called LJ to complain that the store bought roast was "crap". Lol. He said the store meat was extremely fatty, and mushy. We're pretty happy about that comment. Sorry that he got cruddy meat, but very happy that our pork came out so good, especially considering that the estimated live weights for the four pigs we raised were between 340-380 lbs. Big pigs, but lean, tasty, and the chops are HUGE! It may not be economical, as the pig's rate of growth slows as they get bigger (meaning more feed for less gain), but I think we'll grow them out past the recommended 225-250 mark again this year. Because when I want a chop, I want a CHOP. :)


Robin J. said...

Can't beat the taste of home grown pork! Yummy.

kpannabecker said...

I loved reading this. Our pigs are about 225 to 250 lbs now and we plan to butcher one in about a month. I have no idea what to expect taste-wise. We will be assisting a friend of our in the butchering. He does this at home all the time so we'll see how it goes. We helped him do 2 last year. Only problem is it won't be cured or smoked like a butcher can do. We may have to learn how to do that. We take hostess gifts like you do - cheese, soap, meat, etc. No one has complained yet. Great post.

Lindsey said...

If someone gave me a roast as a hostess gift when I threw a party, I'd die of happiness.
No wine - bring on the meat!

Also, my H is a butcher, and he's always talking about the horribly bad butchers he works with; it's nuts. I'm sorry the guy mangled the processing. Better luck next time...:-)

Happy New Years!

Miriam said...

Oh, you make me want to be a pig farmer - or at least be friends with one!

Rae said...

Robin- oh yeah! Home raised is a world of difference!

KP- you can always cure at home. Or, if you don't want to set up for that, you may be able to take a ham/belly/hocks/etc and have your local butcher cure them for you. Worth a try?

Lindsey- thanks for the condolences. :) I would love it if someone brought us a beef roast... I have a ton of wine from past parties (not a huge wine drinker). Jealous of the hubby butcher. I wish I could attend a class and then butcher my own. I'm quite disgusted with our local place.

Miriam- Pigs are very very easy to raise..... :)

kpannabecker said...

I never thought about taking our meat after it was butchered to the butcher for curing. Hmmm, something to consider. Thanks. said...

Rae --- I had never even considered that one of the local butchers might be the one to avoid. I'l going to check into this now since we are moving to our land. We have a butcher we love in Houston, but are just feeling our away around in the country for our up and coming home in the woods. Your roast looks awesome. I can't imagine the taste. It is surely superior to regular old grocery store crude that is fed Heaven-knows what and injected with even worse.

It's great that you are more and more in control of what lands on your table.


Jess said...

Wow. That does sound like a mangled mess of your priceless hogs. I'd be livid! Hope you can haul them down to the good place next time!

Paula said...

So between your local butcher (and I know who that is) and the useless outfit down in Eugene, it sounds like Oregon has a dearth of decent butchers. Nuts!

I'd say curing is easier than you think it is. The curing salts can be had from The Meadow up on Mississippi in Portland, and when it comes down to it, you can smoke in a cardboard box if you have to (see Alton Brown's rig via Google search). If you're really serious about learning at least how to cure, get Charcuterie, by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn.

I'm bummed to hear that your butcher was actually worse than mine though. Really bummed.

Rae said...

Lana- Just wait until you raise your own meat. Soooo worth it!

Jess- Definitely not going back to the bad butcher. We've found two other possible places, and are planning on going in to each and interviewing the butcher long before our next round of hogs are ready for slaughter! :)

Paula- At least the meat tastes good! I may have to order that book you recommended. Wasn't that the one I was looking through last time we were at your place for dinner?

Practical Parsimony said...

That roast looks yummy. I never heard of ribs in the shoulder,either! I raised my three hens slowly without commercial feed, so they were late in starting their laying. I felt it was worth it to know what went into their lives and eggs.