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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 10-06-2017, 08:29 AM   #1
Fatback Joe
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I recently bought a 330 lb Berkshire pig and had room for everything except the head. The friend I bought it from said he would hold the head for me until I was ready. Heads eat up a lot of freezer space so I took it from him as soon as I would have time to mess with it. I had not done the old face bacon thing in a while so I figured what the fark.......and also figured it was time for a new post on the subject.

Pondering the process for a bit. LOL



I usually start from the back side of the head but it was still a bit frozen, so went with plan B. Stood it up and made a slit down the chin and started working back from there.



Worked down through the jowls and just kind of followed the bone. I wasn't worried about getting too close as I was going to use the head/meat for something else anyhow.



Came down each site towards the snout.



Wound up with this......



Trimmed and cleaned it up bit more and hit it with a simple cure of sea salt, brown sugar, and cure #1.



Bagged that up and into the fridge for a week. Out of the cure and into the smoker for a little cold smoke.



Out of the smoke and tied up for some quality sous vide time.



Poured a little bourbon in with it and into the sous vide at 160 for 12 hours. Colored up nicely in the bath.



Ice bath and a fresh bag and into the fridge. Came out much prettier than it started out.



Finally time to crack this thing open and see how she looked.



Broke it down into manageable chunks to wrap and freeze. Have 9 1/2 pounds of this stuff.



Slice a few pieces off, ate a couple and tossed a couple in the oven to see how it cooked up while clean up was under way.



Looks suspiciously like bacon.

Fun little project and I like being able to use up all of the pig. With 9 1/2 pounds of it, I think I am set for a bit. Next head it will be back to guanciale.
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:44 AM   #2
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Oh my god, that looks great. How did it taste? Were you happy with how it came out?
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:44 AM   #3
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Now that is freaking cool! What a great use of an animal.
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:58 AM   #4
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WOW, double tapped the critter. one twixt the eyes and one in dang ear...
Oh and the process is ugly, would make a good Halloween movie.
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monte Cristo View Post
Oh my god, that looks great. How did it taste? Were you happy with how it came out?
Thanks. It tastes like a ham/bacon hybrid. It is good. I have done it a few times before so I knew what to expect.

I was happy with it. I had not done a head this big before like this, I should have let it go a bit longer in the sous vide to let the skin breakdown a bit more. It is good though, but that would be the critique.
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ModelMaker View Post
WOW, double tapped the critter. one twixt the eyes and one in dang ear...
Oh and the process is ugly, would make a good Halloween movie.
Ed
LOL I think the ear hole was from a tag.

Anyhow, yeah the process isn't for the squeamish I suppose, but at the end of the day it is just meat and bones.
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:25 AM   #7
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Yes Sir,brings back memories.My family eats everything but the squeal.
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:51 AM   #8
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Wow, that is super cool and looks mighty tasty!!
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:45 AM   #9
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How can something so ugly turn into something so delicious looking?
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Last edited by DerHusker; 10-06-2017 at 04:53 PM..
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
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How did it taste?
Only Joe nose.
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:59 AM   #11
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Very cool Joe!

I get Berkshire too, a really good breed.
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Old 10-06-2017, 12:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerHusker View Post
Only Joe nose.
This is from the last one I did.

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Old 10-06-2017, 12:40 PM   #13
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Awesome as always. Love your offal posts! I wish I had a head guy! You should have worn that skinned head and snuck up on someone.
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Old 10-06-2017, 12:56 PM   #14
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Nice , brings back memories of butchering pigs with my dad.
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Old 10-06-2017, 01:03 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=CakeM1x;3882368]Awesome as always. Love your offal posts! I wish I had a head guy! You should have worn that skinned head and snuck up on someone.[/QUOTE

Thanks. When my kids were little, I had a big piece of skin off a belly and cut some eye holes in it and chased them around the house. Good times.
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