Done! I know this took me a while, but it was really difficult to choose the right pictures as I didn't want to scare you, however I wanted to show the pig slaughtering as authentic as possible. A traditional pig slaughtering feast usually takes place in winter when the temperature is below zero, and what's really interesting is that nothing from the pig gets wasted.
I can imagine some people would be disgusted by this post, because the only form of meat they've ever seen is a nice clean piece of meat they got from a supermarket. But let's face it, there's always an animal at the beginning, and I think that everyone who eat meat should know the process of what happens before the meat get on the plate. Also getting your meat from a farm is the best thing you can do for you and for the animals as well, because the conditions in which the pigs are raised in commercial production are often horrifying and the meat is much less healthy.
The meat we got was the best pork meat I've ever eaten. The slaughter took place at a small family farm in a village near Prague. The farmer was a very nice man who truly likes his animals. He only raises about 20 pigs a year and makes sure they are all very well fed and have great living conditions. Also the way the pig is killed is very different from the commercial process. I can honestly say I wasn't brave enough to watch that part because I heard stories about squealing animals etc. However as the butcher explained to me later and P. who participated in the killing confirmed that, there was no squealing and horror stories. The kill is very humane and the pig is not stressed before it's slaughtered as it doesn't know it's going to die. This fact is also very important because stress affects meat quality.
I would like to express my huge thanks to the butcher who was very nice and funny the whole day while a bunch of curious city people with their cameras were standing in the way and taking pictures instead of helping him. :)
I also have something for you today. I put together a small selection of my favourite childhood sweet treats that I give away. There are instructions at the end of this blog post how to enter the giveaway.
I arrived when the killed and bled out (the blood is collected to make sausages and a soup) pig was already placed in a large wooden washtub. I was quite shocked by the pig's size that weighted 160 kg.
The butcher sprinkles powdered rosin all over the pig.
Then he pours over the boiling water to scald the hair.
These "bells" and chains are used to remove the bristles.
Guys helping to scrape off the hair.
Scraped pig is lifted using a pulley and hung upside down from a metal tripod.
The butcher slits the belly to eviscerate the animal.
This must have been the most photographed pig (and the butcher) in the world! The butcher removing the internal organs.
Eviscerated pig is washed out before the butcher starts to cut off the belly fat and front legs that will be used to prepare first dishes.
Baking meat for a goulash.
The pig head, both front legs and the entrails are basic ingredients for the pig-slaughtering specialities.
A special homemade bread which is baked a day or two ahead and then dried is now being soaked to be used for the sausages.
Dicing fat for pork cracklings.
Traditional cookies with jam, quark, poppy seed and apple compote are welcomed accompaniment to all the meat.
Guys are washing the guts that got quite tangled...
...and the ubiquitous paparazzi who are not helping :)
Skin is a necessary ingredient for headcheese.
The butcher skins the pig and all that's left will be divided into primal meat cuts. Yeah, that's a lot of meat!
Cleaning of the washtub.
The youngest participant :)
Ingredients for sausages, headcheese and soup: cooked meat and fat being cut and minced for sausages and headcheese, boiled peeled barley for the soup and diced bread for the sausages
The butcher posing with a headcheese made traditional way in a casing made of stomach.
Headcheese being boiled.
The process of making sausages.
Cooked and cooled sausages can be eaten straight away.
Slivovitz is a necessary part of the pig slaughtering feast :)
This axe was so heavy that I couldn't hold it in one hand.
A table full of pork meat.
Final products: white and dark sausages and headcheese.
The feast wouldn't be complete without a lot of beer!
Traditional Czech Sunday lunch "knedlo vepřo zelo" - dumplings with sauerkraut and roasted pork to finish the weekend.
The pig slaughtering feast was truly an amazing experience for my taste buds, however after eating so much meat I was desperately craving something sweet. As I was in the Czech Republic I got myself some of my favourite childhood treats. I also put together a small selection of these treats to give away today.
So what are these treats that could be yours?
Sojove rezy - a sweet soy bar
Studentska pecet - a dark chocolate with peanuts, raisins and jelly pieces
Kolonada - a traditional spa waffle biscuits with hazelnut cream
Tatranky - a crunchy biscuit with hazelnut filling
Mila - waffle biscuits dipped in coffee icing with cream filling
Horicke Trubicky - waffle tubes filled with chocolate cream
Kofila - a chocolate bar with coffee filling
To enter, just leave a comment on this post before next Friday December 3rd at 1pm (GMT). I will randomly select one winner and contact them by email. Please make sure your comment links back to a site where I can contact you or leave your email address in your comment so I can contact you if you win. This giveaway is open internationally. Good luck!