Prepare yourselves because you are about to experience breaking down a half pig. Roll up those sleeves and get those saws out because we are going in. Three… two… one. Buckle up!
Yes, I walked into the classroom and this big daddy hog was waiting for us to break it down. Chef Veronica really helped us, not going to lie, but we still experienced butchering it together. We chopped the pig up into the different sections like ham, picnic ham, Boston butt, loin, ribs, etc. Sawing through the bones was no easy feat. Dad- I don’t know how you saw through real people’s bones… crazy. Once all the parts were taken down, chef had us each work in partners to trim and scale out the weight of the meat, so that we could learn how to food cost it. We also fooled around with the pig’s head before putting it in a brine to cure overnight. I think we are going to make some kind of headcheese with it (yuck). Chef Veronica is such a silly lady, she put the pig on her head and then obviously since I am also a silly fool, I put the pig on my head too.
After we broke down the pig, we had lunch and then got divided into partners to work on our charcuterie dishes. Jack and I were assigned to his holiday Maple Chipotle Ham, Noah and Pandora made the Country Pate, Tyler focused on his beer marinated pork loin, and Julie and Lashandra (she found out she is pregnant with a little boy- she already has two little girls) worked on the sausages. Jack and I made a brine consisting of salt and sugar and then we added a bunch of other spices like chipotle, apple juice (not a spice), maple syrup (also not a spice), garlic powder, etc. to inject into the ham. Once our brine came to a boil, we then had to cool it down to ice cool temperature before we put our ham in the curing liquid. We injected the ham with the spices, the brine, and some pink salt to keep the color pink intact and then into the brine it went to sit all night. Tomorrow we will take it out to dry and equalize it. Chef taught us how to grind meat for the pate and Jack and I also learned how to fillet a salmon- we took out all the pin bones and created our gravlax marinate to cure it over night. We added dill, salt, sugar, and aquavit to the salmon and then into the fridge it went to cure.
( Picture 1- Here I am sawing the HUGE half of pig and Picture 2- This is just one section of the store room we have at school. I don’t know what I am going to do without it because it is literally a free (well technically our tuition is paying for it to stay open) grocery store that has everything you need within your building! Dad can you please build me one of these =)... maybe turn the garage into a store room… hehe).
Tomorrow, I will be making my homemade bbq sauce for my brisket, as well as continuing to finish our charcuterie dishes like the ham and smoked trout.
Hearts and Kisses,
Ps- Today Veronica’s chef hat had a stamp on it that said something like received on with the date and it looked like a stamp that purveyors put on their meat. So, I told her “haha chef the stamp makes you look like you are a cow or something because it says- you were received”. Oh lord, ahha she laughed, but didn’t appreciate me calling her a cow and then I said “Well, I could have said a pig”… she laughed and said oh no, not a pig! Hahhahaha she knew what I meant and didn’t actually mean she was a cow or looked like one!