Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Meat Processing Factory

Thank goodness. I have finally finished processing all the pork that needed processing. Some is in the freezer and that's fine. Some is in the brine and that's fine. But the pate needed to be mixed and cooked and that took ages because I only have 6 pate dishes and I had about 5kgs to cook. I had to cook some, weight it down, let it cool and set, freeze it, de-container it, freeze it and then start again with the next 6 pots. I'll need to get sharper eyes at the brocantes to find some more pots before the next lot needs done.

It was necessary to sort out the flair fat (the hard fat for making lard) and the soft fat before rendering. The photographs show the sorted fat before and after rendering in the oven. Note the difference in colour of the fat once rendered - the finer fat (the flair fat) is much lighter in colour. Post script - next time I won't render it in the oven as it took on a golden colour and tasted 'roasted' not neutral as it should.

I mentioned that some of the sausage mix was being left for me to add some more ingredients which I did. However, when it came to making the actual sausages, the gismo that I have for making them was untried and pathetic to say the least so the finished article was disasterous. So disasterous that I squeezed the mixture back out of the skins and put it in the freezer until I can get a proper machine, albeit a hand-cranked one so as to be sustainable. We did however have sausages for tea and the photograph shows the first meal we had from our very own grown pork (and our own potatoes!)

The rillettes was a tasty success but it took 6 hours to cook down the meat, 2 hours of both Ben and I lovingly sifting the mixture through our fingers to ensure no bone fragments nor 'undesirable' bits went into the finished product, then a further hour to sterilise the 19 filled jars for storage. Here you can see the pate and the rillettes as finished product (plus jars of my own chutney)

And the photo not for the faint-hearted, is the process of making the Fromage de Tete. A surprising amount of good meat comes off the head but the trotters were another matter. A teaspoon of meat from each! I think their main purpose is to add gelatine for the setting of the brawn. I found lots of recipes for cooking trotters though how anyone would want to eat just chunks of fat off the bone I'll never know - not my thing for sure.

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