Mangalista pig?

Discussion in 'Meat Selection and Processing' started by cueinco, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. cueinco

    cueinco Smoke Blower

    I have a 1/4 of a free range Mangalista pig coming in my direction in a week or so. Given that this pork is supposed to be so special, I'd like to make sure that I use it appropriately. What I'm looking for are suggestions on ways to use it. It will be butchered, by myself and others, in the European seam butchery fashion. I have no idea exactly what cuts I will end up with. I'm told that it's about 40 pounds of meat, fat, and bones. I don't want to wait until I have the cuts. I'd like to have an idea of what to do with it and have the supplies and fixings already on hand. I want to  process it the best way I can as soon as possible. 

    Ideally what I would have liked to do is to cure it. I asked about making guanciale from the jowls. Unfortunately, they said that they have to skin the hog given it's thick coat. When they're done, the jowls won't have skin on them like guanciale normally does and more jowl meat is lost than you would like. If you've never seen a Mangalista, they look to me more like a sheep than a pig. Very long hair. They are also supposed to have a higher fat content than most pigs and a dark red meat. 

    My other issue is that as much as I'd like to make some cured and fermented products, I don't have a curing fridge/box available. 

    What I'm thinking so far is:

    back fat - make lardo (the fat from a Mangalista is supposed to be amazing)

    any stray fat - make lard

    neck - coppa (but I'm not sure I get this done without a curing box)

    belly - pancetta or very lightly smoked bacon

    trim - sausages (I'd like any suggestions for something that might be a better use if this meat/fat is so special)

    loin - roast it

    bones - maybe Sunday gravy, other ideas?

    I'd love to get a hind quarter but I'm kind of doubting it. This is a class where we kill the pig, clean it, and then butcher it. After the class each student leaves with parts of the pig. I'm guessing, or planning, that I won't be getting a prosciutto out of this. 

    Any ideas would be much appreciated. Sure I can cure and smoke it but I'm afraid that may hide the supposedly great meat. 

    It would also be interesting to hear from folks that have experience in dealing with Mangalistas. 

    Here's a picture of one:

    and the meat 

    Since I'm participating in taking this animal, I want to make sure that it goes to the highest and best usage. I don't want to waste any of it. I want to make sure we respect the animal. 

    Thanks for your help.....
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I would Cure every OUNCE other than possibly a Loin, keeping it Simple. Salt, Pepper maybe some Herbs and mild Spices. Honestly, I want the taste of the meat, maybe a light smoke if at all...I have seen Guanciale with and without skin so that would not stop me. Look into UMAi Dry Bags for Refer curing. No Cure cabinet required. The company posts recipes and has a Blog...JJ
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016
  3. cueinco

    cueinco Smoke Blower

    Chef JJ thank you very much for the response. I was leaning in exactly the same direction. Using all of the meat and fat for charcuterie was my original goal. I hadn't heard about the UMAi products. They look very interesting. I need to do a lot more reading on the subject.

    After reading Ruhlman/ Polcyn  and the Marianski's books, I was convinced I needed a curing fridge. I even looked at: They claim to have a controller that manages the fridge for charcuterie. I'm waiting to see if I can get more information from them. In the meantime I will certainly check out UMAi. 

    Thanks again. 

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