A few months ago, for my birthday, I took a two-part beef butchering class at the Brooklyn Kitchen and Meat Hook. I loved it!
In attempt to learn everything culinary, I decided to take another one of their butchering classes — this time pig butchering! The class was again taught by Meat Hook butcher Sara Bigelow, who is awesome and so knowledgable. There was a good turn out too – roughly 15 people and I wasn’t the only girl again!
Funny thing about butchering — most people learn by butchering a pig and then move on to a cow as cows are much bigger animals. It’s easier to learn the different types of cuts on a pig as a result of their comparative size. Oops!
Here are a spattering of photos:
As with the beef, the Meat Hook uses every part of the pig they can. They receive the heads as well so they sell pig cheeks and jowls and even make head cheese. They dehydrate the pig ears and snout and use them as dog treats too (this one guy in the class requested to take home the snout, which I found hilarious). They sell the pig feet to a local restaurant who uses them in stocks and sauces. These are my kind of people!
Guys seriously… baby back ribs, short ribs, pork belly, pork shoulder… it all looked so good and I just want it all! (Funny how I really try not to eat pork, but sometimes you just want bacon etc).
We also sampled a pork chop from a different pig (which was amazing) and a couple of different sausages they prepare at the Meat Hook.
These two guys who were standing near me also kept muttering under their breath when anything looked delicious or yummy… it was hilarious and vaguely weird.
On a different note, Sara mentioned cooking pig cheeks in a confit is the best way to eat them — this must happen! She also explained that making bacon at home isn’t that difficult so of course, I have already started researching how I’d do that!! DIY Bacon at home!