Because we had no saws, our weights were solely meat weights.
Jersey = A few select steaks (and experimenting with herbed steak) and major roast meat. Everything else became stew meat or hamburger. We got over 100# of meat, plus well-endowed bones that will feed our dog all winter.
Mulefoot hog = Butterfly loin steaks (these are amazing in taste!), Canadian bacon, ham galore, bacon, a bunch of ground sausage, and more bones for the favored dog.
A few last tips/notes:
1. Render down your lard ASAP to avoid smells. It’s excellent stuff and very valuable. If you have enough Tallow, remember that it is very hard and makes the best soap!
2. Try to keep the meat in below freezing conditions. By the time we got to the last side of beef (our last day of cutting) the meat was too warm. The weather was up to 38-40 and that was too warm to start cutting into the meat. It ended up being very soft and hard to cut clean.
3. We hung the animals in the shop, but cut and wrapped in the basement. Have lots of lighting. A decently warm work environment = longer stamina on your part!
4. Meat grinder is a must. Besides basic knives (SHARP ones, and frequently re-sharpened!)….a meat grinder provides, in my mind, the most essential help to a home processor. In just a few minutes, we could grind several pounds of meat. This year we were given one to borrow from some gracious friends (who also shared their super effective 22 Magnum long rifle if I said that right, gun terminology is not my thing)
5. Mulefoot meat is well-marbled and tasty. Jersey meat is super lean and dark and sweet. Both are favorites of mine. Absolutely biased in opinion, but I can provide references to many others that agree with me! 😉
I chose to dry salt (in the meat world, this is called “curing”) the pork cuts (hams & bacons). I mixed large chunks of cinnamon, nutmeg, dried orange peel and allspice with copious amounts of salt. The cuts of meat were stored in glass bowls surrounded by this salty mixture for several days.
To remove excessive saltiness and restore some moisture, another tip from Jim & Ethel is PAR-boiling. I know, I hadn’t heard of it… It’s easy, just:
- Place salted meat in a pot of cold water
- Bring to a boil
- Take the meat out immediately when the water boils
- Put the meat in cold water
- Repeat steps if the meat is still too salty
6. Final weights:
Mulefoot – barrow – age 8 mo. – live weight 285 – 300 #
- 25 pounds pork sausage
- 4 pounds butterfly loin steaks
- 2 sections of Canadian bacon (around 12 lb.)
- 2 back hams, cut into sections (around 20 lb.)
- 5 lb. pork shoulder roast
- 3 gallons lard
Jersey – steer – age 10 mo. – live weight maybe 350#
- 50 pounds hamburger
- 8 lb. filet cuts
- 20 lb. stew meat
- 10 lb. rump roasts
- minimal tallow
If anyone has advice, please share it. We plan to do this again next year! Also, if you know of any good visuals (photos, videos, charts…) that show specifically how to cut the meat (not just basic “cuts of meat” chart, but more detailed anatomy and such) we would appreciate the help.
Most of all, Jay and I are super excited to have our freezer full of meat. After a year of harvesting our milk, plus cherries, pears, apples…and vegetables from the garden, there is nothing more satisfying than farming for yourself. We can have visitors over for dinner and make them truly homemade meals! What a blessing! We are thankful and grateful to God and all our family and friends who helped make our dreams possible!
p.s. Please don’t ask what happened to the smoker and all our glorious ideas of applewood smoked bacon. Some lessons are just too hard to bear!