Large Black Hogs (and I Hate Factory Meat)

ci_lantroMarch 22, 2010

Hate to admit it but I'm old enough to remember what pork is supposed to taste like!

So, having successfully ferreted out a nice looking large-ish pork loin end roast that was not injected w/ alphabet chemical taste 'enhancers', sodium and water, I looked forward to a savory Sunday dinner.

Herb crusted the pork & roasted it. Was beautiful. But it tasted like herb crusted cardboard. At least the cardboard didn't have a metallic aftertaste...

So, I did what I always do when I have a problem. Googled. Googled for something like 'Best tasting hog'. Landed on a site for 'Large Black Hogs'. Anyway, I enjoyed reading about these pigs so much that I thought I would share the link. For what it's worth, even if I could sneak a couple of them into my town backyard, don't think I would have the heart to butcher & eat 'em. They're just so darned cute...

For those of you who have a bent towards farming, gardening, etc., I think you might enjoy reading about these pigs:

Large Black Hogs

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marlingardener

Thanks for the link! There was an article in a "small farm" magazine about the Large Blacks. We have a small farm, and are considering having a few Blacks to roam around, get their tummies scratched, and live to a ripe old age.
Like you, I don't think I could eat Isobel or Petey (we tend to name livestock, which explains why we eat a lot of vegetables.)

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 7:55AM
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annie1992

marlingardener, I think I read that same article, maybe in "Hobby Farms"?

Home raised pork, like farm raised beef, tastes altogether different. Heritage hogs are not bred to be as lean as today's commercial pork, so a pork chop still tastes like it used to taste, 50 years ago when many people had a hog in the backyard that grazed and ate scraps.

Am I raising pigs this year? I dunno, I haven't decided yet, but I'm kind of leaning that way...

Annie

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 9:33AM
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tami_ohio

marlin, the trick is to name them, Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Dinner, Steak, Pork Chop, ect. At least that way, each time you call them by name, you are reminded that they are intended for the dinner table.

Tami

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 1:17PM
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centralcacyclist

Alice's fair project.

Here is a link that might be useful: Jimmy (Dean).

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 2:07PM
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momj47

Your link doesn't work. We can't see Jimmy (Dean). It's probably better that way! We'd all feel sorry for him.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 2:23PM
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centralcacyclist

I tried to link to her Facebook Album. And for some reason I can't copy it or grab it. I'll have to have her take a pic.

He's a cute (at the moment) pink Yorkshire.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 2:29PM
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annie1992

Oh yeah, Eileen, baby pigs are cute. Even big pigs are kind of nice, so I try not to get attached to them. Pigs are actually relatively intelligent and very clean. I'll wait for a picture of Jimmy, LOL.

Yeah, yeah, I know, but I cry every year when we slaughter steers too, even when they are named Hamilton Burger (Ham Burger for short) or Tom Shanks and Flank Sinatra, or Chuck (as in chuck roast, chuck steak, ground chuck).

So, the naming doesn't work for me. Instead I make pets of the animals I know we'll keep and remind myself that the rest are NOT pets, they are What's For Dinner.

Not that it'll make a difference this year, we've already got two calves and they've been named Moo-Kayla and David Cowser...

Annie

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 3:37PM
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terri_pacnw

I have a pasture raised piggie...still fattening up...He's taking his sweet time....

This will be my second half o pig from a friend who raises them for meat..

Nothin better...

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 11:24PM
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beanthere_dunthat

Oh, Annie! How could you? LOL!

"Rare heritage" pigs, eh? Funny, I don't know much about pigs but they sure look like the ones my grandma's cousin was raising back in the 60s. I think the pigs were smarter than he was sometimes.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 11:38PM
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plllog

I can't help it. This topic just makes me think of the Greg Brown song (don't know who the guys singing is though).

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 2:35AM
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marlingardener

plllog, loved the song! I hadn't heard it before (sheltered life I lead).

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 7:33AM
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gldno1

Ci, I did the same thing. I thought we were out of pork (from a local farmer) in the freezer and bought an entire boneless loin. It was tough as shoe leather and totally tasteless. I still don't know what I will do with it...but I am leaning toward making some brats with additions of fat (another whole different story).

Our neighbor raised a litter of pigs and we bought one and have half in the freezer now (shared the other half with our son). It is melt in your mouth delicious and tender.
This no fat thing has ruined a huge percentage of our food products!!!

We have a milk cow; chickens, and beef. I am still working on DH to raise a couple of pigs a year. I probably will never talk him into breeding them. It wouldn't bother me at all to butcher one. I view farm animals in a much different way than most. They aren't my pets.....they are either money or food........sorry about that!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 7:58AM
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ci_lantro

Gldno--Making brats is a good plan. Or any kind of sausage.

I'm sure I'd get over the problem w/ slaughtering an animal that I'd raised because I'm just too practical not to! When I was a kid, Dad bought some pigs & raised them for slaughter. Knowing that was the purpose, I don't recall anything other than a momentary bit of regret before chowing down. Of course, us kids were removed from making the decision that the hogs get slaughtered on 'X day'.

Anyway, I love brats but have never made them. I should because they keep getting more expensive at the store. Plus being able to control the salt & fat. How do you make them? With a brat sausage mix or do you mix your own seasonings?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 8:50AM
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dedtired

I once knew two pigs (hogs?) named Christmas and Easter and that's when they landed on dinner plates.

What's the difference between a pig and a hog? Sorry, I'm a city girl. I can tell you all about one-legged pigeons, and how to ride the El.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 9:14AM
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ci_lantro

From Wiki answers:

In the United States, the term "pig" refers to a younger domesticated swine weighing less than 120 pounds (50 kilograms), and the term "hog" refers to older swine weighing more than 120 lbs. In Great Britain all domesticated swine are referred to as pigs.

Didn't know that in the UK they don't differentiate between hog & pig...so, thanks for asking!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 9:20AM
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annie1992

I didn't know that the UK didn't differentiate between a pig and a hog either.

As mentioned in Wiki, here pigs are always small, hogs are big. (shrug) We butcher between 250 and 300 pounds, and they are definitely hogs at that point.

gldno, I've spent my life as a farm kid and I also know the difference between my pets and the animals I raise for sale or to eat. I still cry every year when it's time for my steers to become beef or for the hogs to become chops.

Annie

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 10:18AM
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centralcacyclist

Every year when Alice buys her critter for the fair she asks me what she should name it. So far she hasn't taken me up on "Freezer-Wrap" or "Sub-Zero."

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 10:37AM
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annie1992

LOL, Eileen, I always name mine Chuck or Flank Sinatra, we had a pig named PorkChop.

I'm always sad when it's time to process them, though not sad enough to not eat them or to stop farming, the meat is just better and healthier.

We did raise rabbits for meat at one point, though, and even Dad lost the stomach to keep killing and cleaning bunnies...

Annie

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 10:50AM
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centralcacyclist

Alice really enjoyed her pig last year. After a couple of years of raising goats to show, pigs are geniuses. While her pig wasn't a winner in the market category (too lean) she helped Alice place very well in showmanship. Her name was Daisy.

Alice on the subject of goats a few months into her first goat: "Goats are so stupid."

Jimmy is actually nameless. Her pig and her friend's pig were going to be Jimmy and Dean but her friend changed her mind so both pigs are currently unnamed. Any ideas for pig appropriate companion names?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 2:21PM
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beanthere_dunthat

Well, E, I named one of my gram's cousin's pigs Magnolia and the other one Hyacinth. LOL!

I'm not sure how I'd handle chwoing down on something I'd raised. I think killing and cleaning would bother me a lot more than the actually cooking/eating part. I've joke that I would be vegetarian if I had to kill my own food, but that's probably the truth. I'd have a hard time cleaning fish. Now, to send them elsewhere to have the dirty work done? I could probably handle that with only a few pangs of guilt. I think my pragmatic streak would be out in full force. Let the pig be a pig while it's alive and take good care of it; when it's dead, cook it well and let it be on my plate.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 1:26AM
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centralcacyclist

Just to be clear, we don't consume Alice's pig. It is auctioned at the county fair and we never see it again.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 1:31AM
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happyintexas

I like the way Barbara Kingsolver approaches processing chickens on her farm described in 'Animal, Vegetable, Miracle." Respect being the key. I like the idea that a locally raised animal has had a good life prior to becoming my steak or chop.

While at a funeral, some of my older uncles remarked how much I acted like their mother. My grandmother died when I was 13 so I don't remember her much. These guys told me about my grandmother 'putting up' chickens. She would sit on the back porch with a .22 rifle and shoot their heads off. Then The hens would be gathered, plucked, and canned. I'm a crack shot (which was one connection) but I'm not sure I could do that. Women were tougher a generation or two ago. ;0)

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 11:47AM
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annie1992

Eileen, we also had Pansy and Petunia, because they smelled so sweet. :-) We also had Wilbur and Charlotte, that was a BAD idea.

happyintexas, that's exactly what I keep preaching. My animals have a happy, contented, well treated and maintained life for as long as they live. My cattle have acres of pasture to wander about in and just be cattle, with an occasional powdered sugar donut from the kids as a treat. When it's time for them to become beef, they are slaughtered as quickly and as painlessly as possible, and I cry because even though they were born to be dinner, I like them. Then I start again.

That said, I couldn't shoot chickens. I can pluck them, I can clean them, but I cannot kill them. Heck, I even brake for squirrels in the road and I move turtles. Nope, someone else is going to have to do THAT, because I can't. Well, I guess I could, if it was that or starve, but I'd cry and then I'd be sick.

Annie

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 11:58AM
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jojoco

Annie,

I've always respected your approach to raising animals for their meat. I'm pretty sure I couldn't do it, but if I had to raise my own food, I would want to follow your approach.

Jo

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 9:22PM
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