A little while ago we purchased a whole pig from a farmer we know in a town not far from here. They were not heritage breed pigs, just plain old Landrace but well bred and ethically raised in a paddock with somewhere to wander and snuffle.
There are many cuts from the meat and they are all frozen into portions in the freezer.
As I did last year, I made Fromage de Tete (see above) from the head and trotters and you can read about that here. It keeps for up to a month in the fridge and is delicious for cut lunches and carries a robust chutney or pickle very well.
The left over liquor from the simmer makes a wonderful pork jelly with creamy rendered fat on the top.
This is the leftovers to give you an idea how it looks stored in the fridge.
Pork jelly is the solidified rich stock that naturally occurs from using the trotters. This is very nutritious and a real treat heated up as a broth or even a couple of tablespoons into a mug with boiling water to fill and stirred to dissolve makes a nourishing drink and is very good for when you are feeling poorly.
The fat is easily scraped off the top and is spreadable on bread if you are so inclined or may be used in place of cooking/frying oil.
( Read an interview here with Sally Fallon author of "Nourishing Traditions" about animal fat. Even better, by the book)
I wish I was a big fan of offal but I'm working towards it but the dogs like a lot of the stuff I don't. I do favour the cheap cuts too though and you can read how to enjoy ham hocks here.
The extra fat is cut and rendered for soap and we have talked about that here before.
The advantages of getting to know producers in your area and being able to buy a whole beast and honouring that beast by using the whole product. I am supporting local producers who raise ethically AND living frugally. It is a fallacy to say that eating organic is always the most expensive route. If you live in a city you may have to look to a small town for a producer or approach a butcher for a better deal for a whole beast, fat and all!