Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Pig Named Roger: Learning to Butcher

Two years ago I met a pig named Roger. This is the second in a series of three videos that was filmed at that time. Here are the initial paragraphs of my post about the butchering.

I arrived at Portland's Culinary Workshop (PCW), where I would be butchering my half of Roger, about thirty minutes before Clare was to arrive with him and her half of Don. I walked in to find the tables set up for the butchering along with the various knives and saws we'd be using to do the job. In the spirit of the day, there were also two tubs set up to hold the butchered meat, one labeled "Roger" and the other, "Don."

A hands-on cooking school started by my neighbor, Susana Holloway, and her friend, Melinda Casady (left), both former culinary school instructors, PCW seemed the perfect place for this part of the process. Especially because Melinda, nicknamed "The Mistress of Meat," loves to teach people how to cut up whole animals or, to use the term of art, "break down" carcasses.

The halves of Roger and Don had been hanging in Clare's shed at the farm to chill overnight, and when she drove up they were cool as cucumbers, wrapped in plastic sheeting in the back of her truck. She'd stopped at a friend's winery on the way in and weighed the halves, with my half of Roger coming in at 96 pounds, making his live weight close to 320 pounds. Quite the pig.

Read the rest of the post at: Thinking of Eating: The Meat of the Matter.

Watch the other video in the series, Getting to Know My Food and Celebrating a Life Given.


Anonymous said...

What a terrific story. The video followed the process beautifully and your sincere respect for Roger's life was evident throughout. Thank you for sharing.

Kathleen Bauer said...

I'm so glad that came across, Anon. Thanks for your comment…it means a lot!