Episode 32: This Little Piggy

WARNING: Video contains images that some may consider disturbing.

Close to 10 BILLION animals are killed every year in the USA (100+ million are pigs).  With that statistic in mind, only 6 pigs died during the making of this video… but it was tough.  Killing animals is heavy business. After the deeds were done, the folks at Duskwind Farm gave me the heads. I made good use of them, and the result is Episode 32.

16 responses to “Episode 32: This Little Piggy”

  1. Kevin says:

    Doing the scraping and shaving and burning looks, well, nasty. Fortunately, we get our pigs split and de-haired – and they do a fantastic job. Seems pansy compared to what you went through, I bet.

    Just to advocate for the pig head – it's not all fat. I weighed 7 lbs of meat from our last head, and the meat is awesome. My wife ate it the next day thinking it was an awesome slow-cooked shoulder roast, having refused to eat it the night before knowing it was head. No weird flavor, nothing odd, it's not offal [note, our heads come brainless] – it's pork.

    More on pig head here: http://www.kevinkossowan.com/?p=2449

  2. Daniel says:

    with the other heads, i made guanciale out of cheaks, then did head cheese. and with one, i slow roasted it in the oven with apple cider, sooooo good.

  3. Emily says:

    Definitely not for the faint of heart — but a really cool video.

  4. Kate AuH2O says:

    just watched this a second time to see if it would be any easier… not really. noticed the cat nibbling at the pig heads in the background, that was nice.

  5. Really good look into an aspect of food harvesting rarely experienced in USA. Well done.

  6. Sue says:

    I am impressed with how you carved the head to extract the cut you wanted to cook. I am sure that is a lost art.
    I don't think my family ever used the head – well not that I remember. I do remember my mom rendering lard. Now that is an interesting process.
    I wonder if todays consumer knows just how many of the pigs parts can be used…?
    Your girlfriend is a true keeper I'd say…

  7. Daniel Klein says:

    Hey Sue, thanks for watching. I think the question is really whether todays consumers know how many pig parts they are eating (in their hotdogs and ground whatever). The meat industry certainly doesn't waste anything. Which is why its surprising that they haven't found something to do with all the manure.

    My girlfriend is very special. She's hardcore vegetarian too, its not just environmental.

  8. Jake Olson says:

    I love it, this is so inspiring. I live in Turkey where there are no pork products available, but plenty of wild boars in the country that are considered nuisance animals in orchards, etc. I've always dreamed of hunting, cleaning and eating them.

  9. Daniel Klein says:

    Thanks Jake, I'd love to visit Turkey some day to go go hunt with you.

  10. Sean via CLE says:

    I am not a trained chef or a butcher but after slaughtering my pig this past fall i kinda taught myself how to break down the head after making head cheese for the first time, so i love seeing that part of the animal used. I've noticed throughout these episodes that you are pretty solid when it comes to butchering meat, fowl or seafood. Did you have any formal training in that area or did you pick it up on the fly? I always enjoy seeing those lost arts of pre-commercialized food processing put to use.

  11. Daniel Klein says:

    Hey Sean, thanks for watching. I trained at restaurants. I learned the most at Applewood in Brooklyn where we would get in whole Lamb, pig, goat, veal every week. Hope you keep up your butchering. Thanks again

  12. Jdean44 says:

    Pig Mask…..My favorite Porchetta de Testa…..

  13. Jdean44 says:

    I luv what u guys are doing…..Hot water works a little better than the torch and smells a lot better 2!

  14. Diana says:

    I’m a new viewer as of 15 min. ago (saw the article on you in Food and Wine).  Thanks for sharing your passion and hard work with us.  I’m really enjoying it.

  15. Carol Heimsoth says:

    Heard you on the Splendid table today so checked out your site. Recently asked for lard from a local Amish farmer, and to my surprise, received 5# of pink pig fat that needed to be rendered to make the lard. Quite the process and one I’m not sure I want to repeat. But I now have almost a gallon of snowy white lard. My German grandfather would make scrapple from the hog’s head, something else I’ve done only a few times, and is a lot of work for one person using a manual meat grinder. However the end product is really delicious. Glad to have discovered your site and will be catching up on all the episodes.

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