culinary school- week 5 (still 141lbs.)

Dib-dib-dib-dib-did you see what North West Culinary is doing in class for week 5??!!!!! ….Theyb-theyb-theyb-theyb-they are butchering a whole pig!!!”

It has been quite a week. On Monday we butchered two pigs. This collective task proved to not be for the faint of heart (think lots of sharp knives and a saw) . After one classmate's mishap with his boning knife, he was rushed to the clinic where he received 8 stitches in his right hand. I tried to console myself by focusing on the fact that these were organic pigs from Sloping Hill Farm on Vancouver Island. Surely they had enjoyed a good life; one full of buttery corn cobs, golden sunshine, friendships with talking spiders, and plenty of free range frolicking. By midday we had transformed these two animals into bacon, tenderloin, ribs, pork roasts, chops, ham roast, prosciutto, pork stock, pork lard, head cheese, hocks, trotters and more. The rest of the week was pretty much a pork fest.

Many of the physical characteristics of human beings are quite similar to those of pigs (no offense to pigs).... During a vacation to Croatia's Adriatic coast two summers ago, I spent some time at a few of their nude beaches. I swear to God that I saw (human) tourists who, from the back, looked very much like the swines you see below....right down to the pork- I mean port stains. Switch out the slop trough for a concession / beer stand and the sawdust for sand, throw in a few tattoos and body piercings....and you pretty much have yourself a match. And pigs are smart. Don't believe me? Where do you think Pig Latin came from?

Butchered Two Pigs (From Sloping Hill Farm)
Belgium Endive, Braised w. Corn & Cream
Eggplant w. Panko, Prosciutto, Mozzarella & Tomato Sauce

Celeriac & Cheddar Souffle
Stuffed Brined Pork Chops w. Braised Cabbage, Mustard Spaetzle & Beer Jus
Bread Pretzels
Pork Sausage

Head Cheese (Terrine)
Tortiere (w. flaky dough)
De-boned a Duck

Duck Confit
Duck Stock
Smoked Bacon
Duck Cracklings
Cassoulet (w. Duck Confit, Pork Sausage, Smoked Bacon, Duck Cracklings & Bacon)
De-boned a Cornish Game Hen
Duck, Asparagus and Portobello Terrine
Duck Rillettes
Vanilla Ice Cream

Ballottines of Cornish Game Hen (Baked)
Galantines of Cornish Game Hen (Poached)
Tarte Tatin (Apple)
Grissini (Italian Bread Sticks)
Salmon Roulade
Chutney (of our own creation)

Thank God next week is vegetarian and then seafood. Click here to see more photos from week 5.... That's all folks.


Anonymous said...

Diane's blog is always so informative and a laugh out loud parade.i tune in every week

celticjig said...

I just found your blog through Book of Yum's site. It's great! We helped butcher a pig (sort of a pig share) last fall, what a learning experience! Ginger

Anonymous said...

I had dinner with a friend last night at Cav wine bar in San Francisco, where we enjoyed a truffled leek terrine with mushroom salad and crispy pig ear. Chopped up into salty fried slivers, the ears were really delicious(that sounds so odd).

I'm a firm believer that, if you're going to slaughter an animal, you should make use of all its edible parts to justify the sacrifice of life.

Diane Thompson said...


I am in full agreement of your comment that we should be eating all (edible) parts of an animal. It is a matter of both respect and frugality. Working with and eating these animals is forcing me to really look hard at my prior beliefs, and to reconsider my palate....but I'm still not down with the terrine.