Tuesday, February 9, 2021

"Butt" it was on SALE!

I tend to go overboard when it comes to stocking our larder. To me, there's nothing more satisfying than to see a pantry or freezer full of food for my family. I don't know where I got this habbit; I didn't live during The Depression, I didn't have a horrible childhood, nor was I ever deprived of food.

I guess I just have a "problem", albeit not too horrible of a problem when compared to the multitude of real-life problems many are having now. I just have no more room in the freezer.

Pork shoulders / butts were on sale last week. So I bought some. Like 100 lbs. "some". And as I've just mentioned, I did this knowing that there is like zero freezer space.....but it was on SALE!!! Gawd, I'm so weak willed.

But I did have a plan.....to CAN!

We've canned plenty of venison, goat, and even chicken legs (ick, don't let me do that again), but I've never canned a "prepared" meat like sausage. I just thought it seemed strange to have a jar of canned sausage on the shelf; but why not?? We do adore breakfast sausage patties, and Italian sausage links, but I also use sausage crumbles in other dishes like lasagna, spaghetti sauce, pizza topping, etc. And when I make my breakfast, I occasionally crumble up the sausage to put in omelettes and mix up with my egg burritos so what's the difference if it comes from a jar or if I cook it into crumbles from fresh stuff?

This weekend was filled with boning, chunking, slicing, grinding, mixing, browning and canning. Lots and lots of it. My hands hurt when I gripped the steering wheel of the car this morning to drive to work. But at least I was at the office and not cutting up meat.
Out of the 100 or so pounds of pork, we've made 25 pounds of breakfast sausage and 50 pounds of Italian sausage. There was juuuuuuust enough room in the freezer to put most of the breakfast sausage in there. Twelve quart jars of Italian Sausage are now lining the pantry shelves and several quart bags were stuffed into my Dad's freezer. The only things left to do are to stuff the remaining twenty pounds of Italian Sausage into casings and to cure about 20 pounds of buckboard bacon. I WILL find room in the freezer for bacon, even if I have to remove some items (like, say, the peaches I never canned last year. Ugh) to make it fit.

What is buckboard bacon, you ask? Well, it's basically BACON, but not from the pork belly; it's from the shoulder. And this is what my buckboard bacon looks like.....

Technically, I could have just taken the bone out of the shoulders and made the entire thing into buckboard bacon, but I still wanted sausage. So I just took the fatty top and some meat underneath off the shoulders and that was closer to what "normal" bacon is like (i.e. more fatty). Those slabs of buckboard will be rubbed with a curing salt / seasoning then left to age in the refrigerator for about two weeks, massaging them every day (sexy, huh??). Once the curing process is over, they can be sliced and put into the freezer or smoked (for more flavor) THEN sliced and put into the freezer. It's a wonderful thing.


  1. You are a wonder. Should The Apocalypse ever arrive, I'm moving in with you. 'Cause you be prepared! And if there is anything you don't know how to do, you'll figure it out and do it.

  2. Wow, 100 pounds is a lot of meat! Great idea to can some of it. I have canned bratwurst that I got on sale and I love having it handy on the pantry shelf. I also canned a bunch of meatballs! Tomorrow I need to find some room in my freezer too, for all the roosters. I may have to do something else with all that fruit!

  3. That's so great! Good for you, wish I could do pressure canning! I have a glass stove top. When it dies I hope to get a gas range, or electric. That bacon looks amazing!!! M hubby was complaining our large pantry closet is "too full", time for me to rotate!