Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Pig is DEAD

I will start this post with a nice picture.
These are the icicles outside my house, I like how they are bent!
The rest may not be appropriate for everyone.
It can sometimes get a little graphic!

The day started off early. Andi asked if I wanted to see them actually shoot the pig, and I thought this would have been too much. By the time I got there the pig was on its back and the hair was gone.

I was told that the pig was shot between the eyes, not to kill it, but put it in a daze. This is then followed by cutting a slit in the throat in order to drain the blood. Singeing the hair is next, followed by the cleaning which removes the black layer of the burnt hair. After being told this, I was quite happy that I missed it!

You can see where the pig was shot in this one
Atilla, the pig killer, is an artist I must say.

I watched him cut the pig in half, to make it easier to carry and chop into pieces.

I do have a short video of him chopping it in half. Watch it if you want.

The next job was to start dissect the first half of the pig. This is really where the mastery of his art is evident! He said he does about 200 pig killings a year, and he has been doing them for 20 years. I was mesmerized but his quick cuts.

I can understand cutting like this when you have had all the practice, but I can hardly imagine doing this when you have had so many shots of Unicum and wine (Unicum Next is much better than the original Unicum, I think I had 7 shots of it yesterday, not to mention the hazi palinka and the beer)

While standing there I was able to try the pig skin, uncooked, with salt. It was an interesting texture and tasted nothing like I thought it would. It resembled a potato chip that was not firm. On our way inside, we passed by different areas, cooking different things.

The pig's heart, head, ears, lungs and liver cooking, later to be used in the liver sausages.

Andi and half of the pig

We went inside and had some blood pudding, literally blood fried with onions. This was something I never thought I would try, but admit it was not that bad. I was told over and over that if I did not want to eat the stuff I could give it to the dogs, but I ate whatever I was given.

We soon went back outside to watch them quickly take apart the other half of the pig. I found it quite amazing how easy it looked to take apart a pig that was 220kgs!

Antal carrying in a hind leg.

When this was done, the mincing of the meat was starting. They had to mince 10 kgs of pork for the kobalsz sausages and 20 for the salami sausages they would make.

Antal mixing the meat for the sausages.

When the mincing of the meat was done, Atilla moved on to chopping up what was in the pot boiling outside. At this time, I was able to try the tongue, the liver and the ear of the pig. The flavour was not something I am used to, but I was curious so I ate what was given me.

When all was minced Atilla soon moved onto the tables outside that were covered in meat. The pieces needed to be cut into smaller parts so they could be frozen much easier.

Half of the meat on display, waiting to be cut.

It is just like shopping at a butchers, but they know how old the meat is here!

The final process was to stuff the sausages, all 30kgs of meat. I watched this part for over an hour and could not help thinking that it was like a factory. The sausages that did not work out perfectly went towards dinner after the men had finished.

The sausages hanging after the stuffing.

All in all, it was a long and very informative day. I watched them take a 220kg pig and turn it into pieces of meat, before my eyes. It was a little crazy to think that the sausage that I ate for dinner, was a living, breathing animal 8 hours earlier. Andi's father said that they do this 3 times a year, and that way never have to buy meat at the butchers. I can see why!
I was asked whether I thought it was a positive or negative event in my opinion, and could only see it as positive. They are making their own meat, and use almost every part of the pig!

I may never look at a piece of meat again, but this will not stop me from eating it. I do highly recommend going to a pig killing if you ever have the chance.

Atilla separating the pigs skull from the rest of the meat!


Margie said...

Tara, great documentation of the processing of the meat! Wow! What an experience; and I am glad you found it to be positive!

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