How much Faith's Farm butchered, cured and wrapped pork cuts costs when bought piecemeal at $10 per pound: $1,100 for 110 pounds of meat
Savings for buying a half hog (packaged, cured and smoked) rather than one piece at a time: $572Extras
Butchering knife set from Cabela's: $59.99 (you can also probably use large butcher knives and boning knives you already own and simply add a meat hack saw for $39.99)
Meat grinders, from hand-cranked to electric on amazon.com: $20 to $200
Curing salts, pepper, spices and herbs: $20
Prep: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Chill: 1 hour
Makes: 16 patties
Note: If you want to wow your guests or family during your next weekend brunch, prepare you own breakfast sausage following this recipe adapted from a FoodNetwork.com recipe by Alton Brown.
2 pounds pork butt, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 pound fat back, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Combine diced pork with all other ingredients; chill, 1 hour. (Or place in the freezer, about 20 minutes) Using the fine blade of a meat grinder, grind the pork. You can also start with 80 percent lean ground pork (from the best source you can find) and mix it thoroughly with the spices kneading it with your hands. Form into 1-inch rounds. Refrigerate and use within 1 week or freeze up to 3 months. For immediate use, cook patties over medium-low heat in a nonstick skillet until browned and cooked through, 10-15 minutes.
Per serving: 163 calories, 14 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 28 mg cholesterol, 1 g carbohydrates, 7 g protein, 263 mg sodium, 0 g fiber.
Half a hog, whole lot of work
You bought the pig, but does it make sense to butcher it yourself, and can you do the labor?
Chicago Tribune reporter Monica Eng bought and butchered a half hog, saving money--but definitely not time--in the process.