J Hampshire wrote:Great post. Commenting because it was highlighted in today's Dailyish.
I'm a meat cutter, and it's always great to see people providing their own animal protein from start to FINISH. It appears as though there was no major study done to pig slaughter, specifically. Now I totally understand; you mentioned there was some collective animal harvesting experience and the excitement/anxiousness level was at a maximum. However, maximum future yield, I'd love to impart some information to make your next harvest be a banger. If you have that many people willing to help out, you could easily scald and scrape. Taking off that skin broke my heart!
I fervently recommend the following books:
The Gourmet Butcher's Guide to Meat by Cole Ward. An excellent starter book for meat processing and foundational knowledge. It even comes with a CD containing an 800 page PDF with pictured instructions for butchering chicken, lamb, pork and beef!
Butchering by Adam Danforth. Superbly done. The layout and digestibility of this one are second to none. It's very clinical and to the point. The cutting methods aren't "retail based" which is good for showcasing home butchery, but may be lacking if you intend to sell your wares at retail. Overall, a must have for anyone processing their own meat. He always has an entire edition dedicated to beef.
Farmstead Meatsmith is a wealth of knowledge. The Butcher's Salt guides, their DVD entitled "How To Kill A Pig Nicely", etc. Anyone raising pork needs to spend time looking over all of Brandon's information; and/or attending one of his workshops.
Although it's from an Englishman's point of view and some of the terminology is different, the skills of Scott Rea are second to none. He's a little ham-fisted with some procedures, but the knowledge is there for the taking.
Last but not least, I'd also recommend you spend some time at the blog of a fellow Permie, Walter Jefferies of Sugar Mountain Farm.