November 18, 2011
pork leg butchery
Aside from chicken, we also butcher pork a lot - another relatively inexpensive meat. One day we each got to butcher a pork leg. Compared to butchering chicken, other types of butchering are incredibly involved. Not only is it hard to separate meat from bone because everything is more densely packed, but there are way more parts to keep track of - I can't even name all the parts in a pork leg!
The leg took me a good hour and a half to butcher. Hard to explain the process without step-by-step pictures (or a long video), but I decided not to go into detail because chances are that you won't be butchering a pork leg anytime soon (and if you are, I'll call Chef Oakley, Meat Lab chef instructor). Good rules of thumb for butchering meat is following the bones (or cutting bones out first in order to divide up parts) and following seams (fat/connective tissue surrounding muscle groups).
Out of each pork leg we got two pork roasts (seen trussed with butcher's twine), pork skin (discarded, although the fat could be made into lard and the skin into cracklins), bones (for stock), and other meat/excess fat for grinding into ground pork.