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back fat
back fat

We had the opportunity to process a Mangalitsa this past week.  The meat was good–tasted comparable to a mature standard hog though this one was immature.  What was impressive was the fat.  Mangalitsas are, of course, prized for their fat, but until you’ve seen standard hogs–even obese ones–to compare, it’s hard to appreciate the amount and quality of the lard on these “fat type” hogs.  Even on this immature animal (about 118 lb.s dressed as opposed to 200 lb.s or better) there was 1.5 to 2 inches of backfat.  The belly didn’t sport much more meat than we’d expect, but there was enough fat to make enough mass to be sliceable and serveable.

 

belly, nice and thick
belly, nice and thick

Mark sliced the loin into 1/2″ chops and grilled them over charcoal.  It was a bit exciting when the fat dripped down a few times.  The chops ended up being about 1/2 fat and 1/2 meat.  I will confess to not eating all the fat–not close.  It was tasty, though–crisp on the outside and soft but firm through the piece.  We also had some side pork, which is the belly cut usually made into bacon but not cured.  That, too, was excellent.  Even though this pig was only half grown, there was sufficient belly to make respectable slices.  It was quite a treat.  All this makes us look forward to a mature, acorn finished mangalitsa.

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