Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
May 3, 2014 07:22 AM

What parts of a pig should I ask for: not the meat, tho?

DB is butchering a pig this week, what parts should I ask for? I want his family to get the meat, but I want all the other parts.
So far I will get the head, hopefully split. I've also asked for all the bones, tail, trotters, liver, pancreas. Should I ask for the skin? Belly? I'm sure there's more.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'm not able to give you advice about the parts that you mentioned, but I had pork liver only once many years ago. It had a very gamy flavor which I did not like, and have not had it since that time. It will needs some special rub or mixture of herbs to get rid of the gamy flavor.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ChiliDude

      I've never had pork liver by itself, but my father makes an old family recipe for a dish that was always eaten for breakfast - think "scrapple" kind of thing, but different. I love it, and have noticed no gamy flavor.

      1. re: ChiliDude

        i prep for pig liver is to thinly slice it then make a soup of it with ginger, scallion and not much else... the fresher the better and the ginger, my guess is, takes away some of the gaminess...

      2. Did a little searching and found this useful link. Scroll down and you will see plenty of variety meats, including rectum (which I've seen packaged for sale in my Asian market).

        About por liver, it is an essential ingredient in Louisiana boudin. My family made and sold it when I was growing up.

        Here's the link (pdf is safe):

        1. If you get the head (helllo, head cheese) -- you'll also get the cheeks -- the treasure of the whole pig.

          8 Replies
          1. re: sunshine842

            Are pork cheeks akin to beef cheeks--meaning they would have a very singular kind of texture/structure?

            I found beef cheeks flavorful but not especially appealing as regards texture for something like pot-roast. Of course, if you shred the meat finely for some other purpose, that wouldn't be an issue.

            1. re: Bada Bing

              guanciale comes from the pork cheeks.

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                Yes. Love guanciale for Bucatini (or other pasta) all'Amatriciana. But it does require being cured, which is, for people, in most climates, doable.

                I wonder what similarly cured beef cheeks would be like?

                1. re: Bada Bing

                  Beef cheeks, or cachete de res, are so tender they really don't need much help. They are usually a premium priced taco meat when you can find them.

                  1. re: Veggo

                    Tender, no doubt. But they lack the kind of muscle structure that one finds in even the most cartilaginous cuts of beef, like chuck or shank or short rib. The one time I made a pot roast from beef cheek, the taste was fine, but the meat texture was halfway between tender chuck and jello.

                    Not that there's anything intrinsically wrong with that, but it made me feel that I wouldn't re-do beef cheek for a preparation in which some structural interest is part of the picture. Or maybe I overdid them....

                    1. re: Bada Bing

                      I think that is why they are best suited for tacos rather than a stand alone plated item.

              2. re: Bada Bing

                Pig cheeks are very suitable for a long braise. I find them fairly easily in the supermarket (although not free-range or organic ones) and they're so cheap.

                I usually cook them to this Mark Sargeant recipe (although the amount of honey needs consdierably cutting down to around 2 tablespoons):

                1. re: Bada Bing

                  I make braises from both pig and beef cheeks -- they're succulent, have nice texture, and wow flavor.

              3. Well I'd get the all the lard I could and have him separate out the leaf lard from the rest.

                1. If you can get the Belly, grab it! Make your own Bacon.