You’ll forgive me if I don’t have a real meal to post about tonight. I came home at 3, took a solid nap, and then drove out to Chelsea in the torrential rain amidst a tornado watch to pick up something truly fantastic: 89.5 pounds of beautiful pork from Back Forty Acres.
Back in the fall, we got on Back Forty’s mailing list because we were looking for fresh chickens. While we were picking up chickens at the farm, Shane asked about the availability of other meats. One thing led to another, and we found ourselves on the list for half a pig. We’re both novices when it comes to this half a pig business, so we really weren’t sure what to expect, and spent some quality time in consultation with The River Cottage Meat Book in preparation of today. Shane learned about primal cuts and the difference between a picnic shoulder and a Boston butt. We speculated about how the offal would be split between our share and the couple getting the other half. We picked up a chest freezer from Craigslist.
Now that it’s here, though, we’ve already realized things that we’ll do differently next time. We didn’t get all the cuts that we wanted – a failure in communication with the farmer? the processor? – and so won’t be able to try our hands at as much curing as we’d hoped. We also won’t be able to try some of the more adventurous recipes we’d had in mind as we don’t have any cuts beyond the standard stuff you see at your meat counter.
We do, however, have pounds and pounds and pounds of gorgeous bacon and sausage, and more hams than you can shake a stick at – and there are worse things that could happen to you on a Friday night. There are two real questions now, though. First, was it (or will it be) financially worthwhile? At $4/pound, it’s cheaper than meat of the same quality/provenance in the store or the market, but it’s also a significant amount to plonk down all at once. I suspect that if we can use pork as our primary protein over the next year, it will come out even, if not a bit cheaper, than our usual grocery expenses. Second – how long will it take us to get truly sick of pork?