Monday, January 16, 2012

Celebrating the new year with a pig rendering: PG 13

The next stop on the tour of south central Italy was Abruzzo, where Fabio's sister's in-laws reside.  A tradition in the italian countryside, and I am sure in the countryside of many countries, is the slaughtering of a pig or two.  The farmers usually buy a baby pig early in the year and fatten them up until late December/early January when they are killed and then rendered into every imaginable product with nothing wasted.  As our host didn't want to watch the actual killin', we arrived after the carcass had been cleaned and sawn in two halves.

Here, the fellow who raised the pig for our host, is cutting off most of the head.

Removing the brain, a delicacy?

Fabio having a ball cutting up the  meat and preparing for the sausage making.

Cooking up Cif Ciaf, sort of the small pieces which wouldn't be easy to use otherwise.  The cooking and heating in the house was accomplished by this wood burning fireplace; even the water was heated this way.

I hate to have a blog post without a picture of a pretty girl!  Here is Nisha, Fabio's sister, and her husband Franco, whose family was our host in Abruzzo.  Franco's dad was the "General" who guided us through our various tasks of pig rendering out on the farm in the middle of nowhere.

Franco's grandmother, cutting up the pieces for their various uses, including the skin for crackle, the fat for lard or use in the sausage, etc.

Bucket of lean meat which will be weighed below, to ascertain how much salt and spices to add with fat above which will be added to add a bit of flavor and moisture to the sausage.  We never got close to the 50% fat in most US industrial sausages, more like 15%, I would guess.

The electric grinder, thank goodness for some modernity!

The "General" and his brother, a colonel, I am guessing.

Starting the sausage making and trying to overwhelm those tying the sausages with our speed and dexterity.

The maestra!  Fabio after finishing tying up all the sausage below, told her he thought he had tied them all pretty precisely, to which she responded: "They aren't precise at all!" Really burst his balloon, hehe.

A mountain of sausage to tie into individual links.

Hanging up to dry.

Starting the cleanup and smiling, because after 2 days out here in the middle of nowhere, I was planning my escape!

1 comment:

Ashley & Jason said...

great post! We are stuffing & making our sausages & salami now too in Le Marche. I love how it is always a big production with lots of help & family! Our rafters look the same as those - heavy with meat!