Monday, May 25, 2009


Mangalitsa Speck

I haven't produced any cured products for months. For various reasons, I switched to a plant that just does slaughter, cutting and wrapping - no cured products.

On the pork side, I switched from mostly selling Berkshire hogs (and some Mangalitsa) to selling mostly Mangalitsa-sired pork and some Mangalitsa. With the shift to substantially lardier hogs, I figured that the processor I used for the bacon probably wasn't going to work anyway. The new hogs have so much fat on them that it is important to use a specialty processor that can make the most of them. Also, with Mangalitsa bacon, it is important that it be ready to eat - because when you cook it, it renders a lot of fat. Hence,the plan now is to turn the pigs into Speck, a traditional, ready-to-eat bacon.

Mangalitsa bacon - by Barnaby Dorfman.

Although Mangalitsa bacon is wonderful, the fact that it is wet means that it isn't ready-to-eat. You have to cook, something that a lot of people don't make the time to do.

Just as with the fresh pork, I didn't want Wooly Pigs to make any cured products from Mangalitsa pigs unless I felt the product was correct. Using standard (but still high-quality) American processing on my Berkshire hogs made sense, but I didn't want to do that with the Mangalitsa pigs.

EDIT: see how I finally got some acceptable processing here. It took a long time to solve the problem, but I solved it.

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