With just a few weeks left in 2010, it is time to take stock of my world of meat.
Herschel the prosciutto is 14 months old and looking good. Firm to the touch, sweet-smelling, and no sign of troublesome molds, bugs, or other unwanted natural intruders.
Construction on the kitchen (meat processing facility) is complete and it is a great setup. Yes, it is small (180 square feet), but it allows me to do all the butchering, sausage making, and food prep that I can handle.
The goal of building this space, getting the USDA’s approval of my work, and selling artisan meats is becoming very real. With just a few more tasks to document and complete, I hope to be working under USDA inspection with approved legal sausage for sale soon. The transition from librarian to sausage-hobbiest to artisan meat business is very real. Once I’m up and running, of course I’ll announce it here.
Below is my latest project in the new kitchen. A friend of mine was co-owner of a Tamworth pig that was raised just north of Seattle. The animal was slaughtered two days ago. I now get to take 100lb (half the animal) of this beautiful meat and turn it into sausage, bacon, a few other meaty meals for his family.
Below is the 100lb Tamworth pig I just got. 44lb of belly, 31lb shoulder, 26lb leg, and enough offal for everyone subscribed to this blog.
Below is a reminder of the tight quarters (my home-kitchen) I used in March 2010 to do a similar project. As much as I tried to convince myself, this is not work that can easily be done in a residential kitchen. My commercial workspace is certainly not huge, but the difference is pretty obvious.
Here’s the 44lb mid-section of the pig.
Below: that’s all from the same mid-section shown above. The belly on the right will be bacon.
I’m getting used to monitoring temperatures every hour as I work. As long as the meat temperature doesn’t ever exceed 41 degrees, things are safe. The belly was 36.1 degrees F at the start of this small project. And below, you can see that it is 37.3 degrees F when I put it into the cooler. We’re safe!
All the meat is in the cooler until I’m ready to process the rest of the pork.
And on a very different note….
If anyone knows how to knit well, let me know. I want one of these!