Monday, January 14, 2008

Pig pics!!!

Here they are! It is a shoulder and leg, as in the front part of a pig. You can see that it came vacuum packed in heavy plastic, with that white cloth bag over top. The side you can see is the side that was attached to the rest of the pig. I am told that you have to put a cloth over any section that you have cut, hence the white bag.

Here is the other side, complete with some armpit hair, or is that forearm hair?

And the foot.

I put that little blue paper shoe jobby back on it when I was carving away at it, I'm not squeamish, just a little tiny bit, well, yes I am, a little tiny bit squeamish. Not so's much as I won't eat it though. As far as I can tell, you don't normally eat the fat an skin. I am not sure I want to anyway.

Look at that nose in action. Chuck is well aware that something has opened up on the counter, something really good...his sniffer was working overtime.

I could not seem to slice it thinly enough, so it was a mite, um, toothsome. If any of you with more experience of these jambons could send a few hints our way, we'd be grateful. We don't have a leg holder, and I have no idea where to put it so the dog couldn't get at it, ditto with hanging it, so we currently have it resting in that dish drying rack thingy over the sink....lots of air circulation anyway.


Beth said...

Happy for you that you were finally able to post these pictures - but it's way too early in the morning here for me to enjoy them.
The hair thing - yuck.
Happy eating!
(I'm about to do the Cornflakes thing...)

elPadawan said...

I've heard that you could eat everything in a pig. There are some traditional french recipes for the pig's foot, actually. As for the cutting techniques, I don't think I can help. Even professional, when they're not using a slicer, are not always able to do really thin slices themselves... so I think there's nothing to be ashamed of ;)

Anonymous said...

All I can help with is the basics that you are probably more than aware of.
1)Get the best filet knife on the market.
2)Keep it extra super sharp.
3)ALWAYS cut away from yourself at a SLANT.
Then, supposedly, it involves less wrist pressure and action and makes it possible to cut thin, even slices, tirelessly.
(That's according to my French cook books.)
What ever - enjoy!
BUT, how did a family that basically is vegetarian come up with this?
A Christmas present from the boss?
No joke, have never seen one of those that close up!
I'll look in my Italian cookbook for more advice if you like.

coloursofdawn said...

I can't help you with that. When we get beef, it goes to the butcher and we get it in small packages to go in the freezer, no hair involved. You could look on the net. I have some country living, preserving type books that show how the beef or pork are sectioned into parts but my family has only done it a couple of times. Sirdar used to work for his dad, a butcher, but he doesn't remember much.

Dorky Dad said...

I can't say that I'm not very experienced in the matters of dealing with a pig leg. I can tell you how to cook bacon.

Boo and Trev said...

In the UK there is a snack you can buy in pubs called Pork Scratching and it is basically crackling. But sometimes it has hairs. British quisine eh!
I thought you could eat every part of the pig except it's squeek

kate said...

If you really want to get the most out of your jamón (i.e. thin slices) you need to get a holder for it (they're not too expensive) and one of those ham-slicing knives. Then your best bet is to invite someone over who knows how to slice it and have them give you a few lessons.

When I came here on a semester abroad in 1992, I thought this was the most disgusting thing ever. Now I love it (except I still peel off the fatty parts, which is not a cool thing to do if other people are watching, but oh well...) Of course, I can't have any now because of the pregnancy.

oreneta said...

Beth, cornflakes...mmmmmm

Elpadawan, there are also some traditional Catal recipes for eating the feet, and very good they are indeed.

GM, part of the Xmas basket at the man's work...I'll sharpen up the blade, and I know to cut away....geez, an education every day in this life.

Dawn, I have to confess, I kind of prefer it when it comes all nicely sliced from the butcher...but there is an elemnt of (slightly gross) adventure to it all.

DD, I can't say that you didn't really use a lot of negatives in that sentence.

Boo and THankyouverymuch to the hair in the pig cracklings...though the cracklings themselves might be pretty good if they were warm. I wonder if I coul fry me up some cracklings from this thing...applying the pig directly to my arteries so to speak.

Kate, they eat the fat with it!!!!! straight and cold?????*shuder* That sucker is being peeled off, I am sorry, but cold pig fat is just too much. blech. Now fried up...that's another issue all together.

Lynda said...

You need my German Father in Law. He is a wizz at such things - he would have it thinly sliced and vacuum packed before you know it. I sort of fell for him on one of our first meetings when were served whole smoked trout - I had never been a happy camper with regards to fish bones.. before I knew it, he had perfectly filleted his own portion... and then he just swapped his plate with mine... never spoke a word... that was a defining moment in my life. LOL

Beth said...

oh God....vegetables never looked so good to me before! That's enough to put me off pork forever!

Theresa said...

Oh but the fat is delicious, trust me. I thought it was disgusting in the beginning, but once I tried it I loved it. You do need to get a holder, otherwise the slices will come out too thick and a very good knife; they sell special ones just for slicing jamón. Here's a video that shows how to do it right, sorry it's in Spanish, but you can at least see how they do it.

oreneta said...

Lynda, I wonder if he'd come over for an afternoon...

Beth, it is kinda intimidating...

Theresa, your a dream...a video!!!

sirdar said...

I'm sure it tasted better than it looks :-)

My dad was a butcher and I used to help him quite a bit so none of that scene would have made me squeamish.