Twice a year we purchase 1/2 a Hog from our friends a Backbone Food Farm in Oakland, MD. They aren’t just raising any ol’ hogs, we’re talking about heritage breed pasture and woods raised pork.
What exactly does this mean you may be wondering. It is a return to the old way of raising hogs, the way it was done before industrialized agriculture got a hold of things and turned it into a great big mess. Our pigs have room to move, to graze, to forage, the freedom to follow their natural rhythms and instincts. The herd has access to shelter at all times, and is rotated through pastures and woods that provide a large part of their diet. Large Black Hogs, the heritage breed we are raising, are known for their superior tasting pork, their hardiness, and their ability to forage. These pigs are able to take grass and other herbaceous plants, roots, grubs, acorns, produce scraps and goat whey from the local Firefly Farms, and convert it into top quality meat. in addition, they are fed a custom feed ration featuring Fertrell all natural supplemets, including pro-biotics. Our pigs are born bred and born on the farm, and have had zero steroids, hormones or anti-biotics.
Purchasing a half or whole hog is a great way to save money. We end up only paying about $3.75 a pound for some of the best pork money can buy! When you purchase in bulk, most often you will get to select the cuts you want to receive, including chops, roasts, ribs, sausage, etc.
Since we like to use the ground portion of our hog in various ways, we don’t get it mixed up into sausage at the butcher. I believe the past 1/2 hog we got yielded roughly 25 pounds of ground pork.
In addition to mixing up ground pork into my Homemade Hot Italian Sausage, we also enjoy ground pork in these delicious recipes:
It’s surprising that so much ground pork gets used up so quickly, when its easily transformed so easily into such delicious dishes!
I feel like so many people are intimidated at the thought of making homemade sausage, it’s truly no different than mixing meat into a meatloaf or meatballs! My sneak seasoning trick is to always fry up a little fresh mixed to taste and make sure it’s seasoned perfectly before putting it into a casing or packing away in the freezer.
Although I’m showing you our beautiful links of sausage in these photos, we don’t often go through that much work. Instead we just use the mixed sausage as bulk or formed into patties. It saves time, less messy and is still totally delicious!