You’re probably going “Lucy knows it’s chicken parmesan, right?”. Yes I do know, when a craving hits & there is a chicken breast shortage hits (now remedied), you substitute. In this case I used Pork Chops from the NCF farm store coming in at $9.50 lb. It makes for a good fall meal on these still cooling off nights.
In my pictures you will notice the bone & extra fat. Don’t do what I did and leave those on. My crew was startled to find they couldn’t cut their meat under layers of sauce and cheese, from now on I will use my noodle a bit better and remove the extra fat as well as the bone.
There is no Parmesan cheese in Parmesan dishes. Why?? The dish is named for the area it is from in France. Also I do not add my seasoning to the breading. I season the meat after egging. I’ve found that this adds a bit more flavor to my fried dishes. And please make sure to let the meat come to room temperature before frying. Cold meat in a fryer = burnt breading
Folks, we’ve hit the bottom of the barrel. With the help of Kayla at The Butcher and the Baker in Fayetteville we are officially out of EVERYTHING porcine except for fatback, pigs feet, and smocked ham hocks. Everybody knows that fatback and smoked hocks are great for collard greens and we won’t have any good collards till this coming winter however there are other things you can do with those cuts. Before I talk about that though, let me tell you about feet.
I made pork stock (foot soup as SWMBO called it) and used two pigs feet in the stock rather than pork bones. I simmered the stock for about 24 hours, drained all the chunky bits, and froze the stock in vacuumed bags. Easy! Darling Wifey decided to use some later for a recipe and folks, let me tell you, that stock was jello! I don’t mean it was thicker than the watery stuff you get at the store, I mean you could stick a spoon in it and it would hold it upright. It brought a richness to her cooking you just can’t get any other way. If you’ve never tried homemade stock before, get a couple of feet from us, they are on sale, and find out what real stock is all about. Pork stock isn’t something you can buy in the store like chicken or beef stock. If you aren’t sure what to do with it, there are some good ideas here and a recipe here. You can substitute pork stock for pretty much any stock you would use. It’s a neutral taste and not “porky” but it’s oh so rich.
Now onto fatback. Here is a quick blurb on fatback from Fine Cooking. Have something a bit too lean, add some fatback to make it awesome. Think fat is bad for you? Then read this, or this to learn the truth. Your brain is 60% fat. Give it what it needs. We have a ton of fatback left, it’s time to give fat a try. If you are cooking for your family this weekend, sneak some fatback into the recipe and watch them react to the flavor when it hits the table. Fat makes everything better.
Lastly we have smoked ham hocks. The best breakfast I ever ate was red beans and rice, sitting in a little hut in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. I can’t promise you the view I had, but with some of our smoked hocks, you can have the red beans and rice, plus a whole lot more. Check out these recipes for some ideas.
I can hear you saying now, “But I want PORK CHOPS, wrapped in bacon! When are you going to have that?”
The next pig we have processed will be used at our event on June 28th. If you want some porcine goodness that you don’t even have to cook, then get your tickets now. After that, we have some more pigs that are a few months from being done. We are currently looking to buy some more feeder pigs and should be back in stock going forward.
We also have the first of our cows ready to process. He’s going into the family freezer, but we may sneak a few cuts out for you to sample so good news, meat is on the way.
I looks like there is a trending article in the Wall Street Journal making its way around the inter-web that does a nice job of telling the history of our war on fat and gives some compelling evidence of why it is a failed war on many fronts.
The article is fairly long and makes a lot of references to studies, both good and bad. It also pokes some pretty big holes in the original studies that supposedly showed that fat is bad for you. The author of this article is pimping her new book, which surprise surprise, is based on the same topic. Now there’s nothing wrong with promoting your book, and based on the one review so far on Amazon, it needs some attention to get people to buy it. It was only just released so I’m no knocking the book, just pointing out the obvious.
I read the critic’s reviews and it looks like a who’s who of the anti-carb movement, all people who have their own books. Again, not really an issue but I like to see a broader cross-section of people before I can believe the hype. However, what I have read sounds pretty good. The author is an investigative journalist and has apparently spent 9 years on this project which puts her earlier in the movement than a recent book publishing would suggest. She has gone beyond hyperbole and has, again apparently, done her research to back her findings. She lists her copious sources which isn’t common. Finally, the findings of her book match my life experiences that I’ve written about before.
As an update to the post I wrote before, I’ve decided to dip my toe back into flying. Not in any big way, but just easing back in. Step one was to go and get an airman’s medical. It’s one thing to go to the doctor and have him tell you something you don’t like hearing. It’s quite another to go to a FAA doctor, who is reporting everything he sees to Big Brother. We’ve just come off a winter where my family consumed over 800 pounds of pork. That’s over 5 months. Folks that’s about 5 pounds a day of pork! Now some of that we served to friends, some was bones and gristle and whatnot that went to the dogs. But bacon/sausage for breakfast, and pork roast/pork chops/etc for dinner, and leftovers in between? We have practiced what we preach this winter.
Now I’m sitting down with the nurse and she’s checking all my vitals. I haven’t had an exam since I turned 40 and this is when things begin to fall off of you. I’m picturing all the fat I’ve scarfed in a short amount of time. Was all this stuff wrong? Will I have blood pressure through the roof? I’m certainly stressed enough at this point. The result? Better blood pressure and pulse rate than I had when I was in my 20s. Oh, and I’m about 5 pounds lighter than I was when I wrote that previous post too.
Getting the anus cut out without making a mess is always a challenge. Here we are just being successful.
The only thing we “wasted” on this pig. We did not clean the intestines and use them for sausage. We did donate the innards to the wildlife on the farm who ate well that night.
This was a tricky bit because we were dumping the innards while trying to save the liver and kidneys and also the heart and lungs for anatomy class. Success! A clean cavity ready to wash out and then split.
For the cleanup of the hog I tried to do as much as possible except for the scraping. Once we got into butchery I tried to let the students do as much as they wanted.
Here we are separating the bladder and urethra from the hog. This is a careful process because you don’t want to get peed on at this point. This part was also pretty funny because I was so focused on safety, pictures, overall impact on students, etc. that when asked if this pig was a male or female I answered female while we were cutting off his male bits. Not my smartest moment. 🙂Separating the anus while trying to not get pooped on. This is the delicate bit. Once this is done, it’s pretty easy work.