The pig is a superbly versatile animal and is divided traditionally into a number of key joints. Unlike other farm animals, you get to use the majority of the live animal.
From our experience of providing pigs for many many customers, we prepare the pork in a certain way. And remember that the pig comes back in two sides, so there two of everything, apart of course from the head, the four trotters and one tail.
The head is cut down to the cheeks and ears. The cheeks - huge on a large pig - represent some of the tastiest parts of a pig and should not thrown away. Cooked as a small joint, or indeed air-dried, it is a valuable source of high-quality pork. The ears are usually used as a treat for the pet dog, roasted in the oven and allowed to brown. You could of course have the head whole, halved, or quartered, making it easy for brawn.
The shoulder is an under-rated pork joint. Unless the customer wishes to make sausages from the two shoulders (and that's how most are commonly used), we bone one, keeping it as a super size roasting joint, and with the other, bone it out, divided into two, then roll it. Keeping the bone in enhances the flavour, but makes carving tricky, although well worth the extra hassle. And the key thing about the shoulder is that this is the joint that does all the work moving the pig around the field - therefore it has a superb blend of fat and flesh, creating a rich flavour.
One loin we leave on the bone and divide into three roasting joints. The other loin is divided into chops.
Like the shoulder, the belly has always been viewed as a cheap cut, almost unworthy of recognition. How wrong is that. One belly we keep on the bone as a winter warmer roasting joint; the other, we bone so that you can have a go at bacon making. But, be warned, once you've made your own bacon, you won't go back to buying the pulp in the plastic packets.
The rear legs. For many, the reason why pigs exist. These we cut-long and remover the trotters. We then, tunnel bone both, because if you have a go at creating air-dried ham, it gives it a better chance of not spoiling and if you roast one (we recommend it), it allows for great carving. Of course, we'd also recommend making a ham, as it's one of the best things about a pig.
Offal. You can have this if you want it and the meat inspection passes it. Just let us know.