A Whole Red Wattle Pig

This year I decided to go whole hog, and buy a Red Wattle pig for our freezer and my continued meat curing activities.  I got it locally, from the Kreidermacher family at Pork and Plants, in Altura, MN.  The pig was processed at Ledebuhr’s Meat Processing in Goodview, MN.  We got 165 pounds of meat and fat, for about $425, paying the farmers for the meat, and Ledebuhr’s for the processing.  The process was surprisingly easy, and it does all fit in our freezer and fridge in the garage, with space to spare.

While I didn’t take the liver or heart or kidneys, I did ask for the back fat and the lard, and of course, the jowls.   Ledebuhr’s is curing one of the hams, and most of the meat was frozen in the cuts I had specified, but I kept the following parts fresh, so I can cure them myself:

  • one ham, aitch bone removed, for dry curing
  • two jowls, for guanciale
  • the belly, in two pieces, for bacon

Connie, of MyPart, was kind enough to give me the jowls of her Red Wattle pig, too.

This is my first experience curing the meat of a specific breed, so it will be interesting to do some comparison tastings.  The Kreidermachers are transitioning their farm to being  organic, though it is not currently certified.  The pigs were raised on pasture, and any supplemental feed is non-GMO.

We had our first taste of the Red Wattle meat this weekend.  I brined some chops with salt, maple sugar, garlic, pepper, and bay leaves for about 2 hours.  We then grilled them.  They were really good.  I’m looking forward to seeing how the cured meats and sausages come out!

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