Sunday, March 28, 2010

Introducing, The Red Wattle Review !

 Now for the first time ever, South Pork Ranch is proud to present their first Red Wattle Pig all dressed up and somewhere to go ! Our first Red Wattle feeder pig for our own use, was unveiled with several friends recently in a BLT fest. The bacon was a deep red with plenty of fat and cooked very quickly.We were told, and had read  in several sources, that Red Wattle meat was leaner than the average pig and thus the reason it fell out of favor with the settlers in the 1800's who relied on lard for so much of their household cooking. So we were surprised and pleased to see the tasty fat. I suppose those folks did not have access to the certified organic milk we feed to our hogs.

"Yum" and "yummy" were the official taste testers words. I hang with a very elite and highly intelligent group.The bacon disappeared as quickly as it appeared on the plate. Some actually used forks to grab their share but several reverted to the age old finger grab. Last night Keith made himself porkchops, tonight we will try a ham steak and hopefully by morning there will be enough leftover for Daves Supermarket in Fairbury.   Daves will begin selling our meat this week. Yeah !

Three weeks ago , at the same time we took our own Red Wattle into the locker, we sold our first two Red Wattle feeder hogs to two of our Chicago chefs , Jared Van Camp at Old Town Social (and faithful side kick Yoni) and Chris Pandel at The Bristol,
In Chris's own words in a recent email , "The wattle is super. (or did he mean "supper?" )We have much of it curing for future use but the animal was beautiful when we butchered it"

So there you have it. The first reviews on the tastiness of the critically endangered, exotically beautiful  Red Wattle Hog are in. The reason I am telling you all this is to remind myself why we are raising these little boogers. Yesterday afternoon we almost butchered ten of the little monsters right there on our front lawn with our bare hands.

Seems Red Wattle babies are of the adventuresome sort. Once secure with the location of their home base, they like to, how shall I say it..RUN AROUND LIKE DRUNKEN WILD BANSHEES IN MY FRONT YARD TEARING UP EVERYTHING IN SIGHT WITH THEIR HUGE  FLAT BULLDOZING SCHNOZES. The fact that Keith has lowered the electric fence three times in order to give them a good jolt if they try to leave ground zero, made no difference. Once one little wicked bite-sized hammette decides to go for a stroll, the rest will follow. Lemmings disguised as sausages, they run out of the pasture, across our gravel drive and into the front yard. Our herd dog Freddie is not a lot of help.Still young and untrained (will someone please just call the dog training lady whose phone number has been stuck on the frig for the last 6 months ,and register us for classes ?!?!) Freddie just circled the renegade pigshits, I mean piglets,around and around just a few feet from our front door. The poor dog has no sense of direction but he does know his shapes. Well, one shape. The circle. Or on a very good day, he does some nice ovals.

With the yard still very soft from recent rain, the 4 week old piglet feet, cloven like the devil's own,  left wonderful holes all over, nicely accenting the big craters left by loose horse hooves the week before. When we opened the front door they stopped in their tracks, looked at us simultaneously and then ran like fats out of hell back UNDER the electric fence and into the protective hogcienda. None of the four sows even bothered to chastise them. Parenting skills of a pig I tell you.

And now we leave this story for a raw milk update. We are still selling it as Illinois State Law says we can. The milk truck from company A did pick up our milk on schedule. And tomorrow is Monday. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. Holy Hogcienda! This blog is hilarious. I can just imagine you in your semi-coma stuper looking out to see piglets running all over your yard. Poor Keith! All I can do is laugh made my morning.

    Big J