This was going to be our first winter without butchering a pig since 2008/09, until a couple of days ago when a friend was given a large piece of wild boar by a local hunter. Specifically, a side and front right leg with shoulder.

Our friend didn’t have the knives to process this quantity of meat, so asked me if I wanted to do it and split the bounty. Not a proposition to turn down, even if you’re in the middle of your annual cold. The kitchen was quickly adapted to suit the purpose:


Recent guests of écovallée will recognise the bit of work surface which used to be in the outdoor kitchen. (My old butchery surface has been turned into a desk for Her Outdoors’ studio.) This was clamped at one end and secured to the tongue and groove with my last bracket. You’ve got to have brackets lying around. (Preferably where you can find them.)

A few hours later, and the meat has been turned into 7kg of sausages, 2kg of bacon (on the plate to the left of the scales in that picture), what will be a good-sized curry (cooked very long and slow for the sinewy bits) and a rack of ribs for slow cooking with a barbecue sauce.

Interesting to note, the meat was incredibly lean. I think it was more sinewy than our pigs, too, and the tongue and groove was lucky to last the sausage-making process. Imagine one of us putting all their weight on that bottom left corner while the other cranked the handle for all they were worth and you’ll get the picture.

At a guess, I’d say the boar was 70kg when shot. I found the bullet. Which was also very unexpected.