Once Port Heiden’s pig prey was hollowed and rid of all vital organs, the true work began.
The pre-bacon carapace was filthy, so we had to wash that sucker. Dirt, grime, blood, hair, it all had to go. And luckily, with really sharp knives, lots of sterile rags, and scalding hot water, off it all went…the process just required a fair bit of “elbow grease” (as the kids say).
From that point, someone grabbed a blow torch and I thought it was time to get grilling! Alas, it was merely to burn off the little fine hairs across the pig’s corpus. This step established something very important: the smell of burning hair is nowhere near as enticing as the smell of cooking pork products.
After this, the buzz of a skill saw and lots of chopping ensued. I was fairly clueless about pork cuts, though I did know where the tasty ribs and bacon lived…so that was something at least.
But there’s more, so much more. Along with the ribs, there’s the tenderloin, ham, backstraps, porkchops, shoulders, and so on and so forth.
Bagging and tagging the bits got tedious, but the results after were miraculous: a freezer full of pig is tough to beat!
If you’ve never worked for your meat and gotten to know the process intimately, I recommend it. Having an attitude of gratitude is important. But when it comes to food, it seems as though I lived my entire life without any appreciation for the process behind all the bacon I’ve thrown into my gourd.
Consider me a convert to the butchery.
Thus concludes the grisliest segment of Alaska: Village to Village.
Thanks for tagging along.