Friday, November 13, 2009
Chef Bryce Lamb, Mangalitsa enthusiast, has a facebook gallery up of his exploits in Austria with Christoph Wiesner.
He's got some photos that show how they butcher pigs.
I wrote about Bryce recently.
That Mangalitsa below looks fat. There's nothing wrong with its belly - it is just a very fat pig.
Looking at that pig, I'm reminded that the shoulder butt - a very popular cut, is a mere 10% of the carcass, by weight. It might be even less on these hippos: their extra weight mostly goes on as fat, which they primarily store on their back and belly. Just because they get big, they don't get big everywhere.
I get a little sad when I see the just-slaughtered pig hung up.
I've seen photos from Christoph showing even fatter Mangalitsas. This one's belly looks strangely big - but its not. Its just a fat Mangalitsa pig.
We generally slaughter ours at smaller weights than Christoph, because then they are suitable for fresh meat too. To make the most of the really fat Mangalitsa carcasses, you need to process them.
One thing we find is that many Americans don't understand that pigs of different weights are optimal for different things. They tend to think pigs are pigs - which given the homogeneity in breed (meat-type) and feed, is understandable.
The Mangalitsa is an extreme lard-type breed. The commonly available breeds are meat-type, and taste very similar to each other). Besides breed, age at slaughter is a major determinant of quality.
Posted by Heath Putnam at 4:09 PM