Get your pig

One of the gems I discovered soon after starting my job in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin is a butcher shop called Lake Geneva Country Meats. Want fresh, top-quality meat? This is the place to go.

I stop here on my way home from work at least once a week to pick up fresh brats, hand-cut steaks, and marinated chicken. Grab a little bag of broccoli florets and a few cobs of corn and I’ve got an entire meal of the freshest variety in minutes. They also sell a wide variety of wine and beer. If you’re lucky their meat master, Nick, will be there to offer a pour and match your meal with the right flavor profiles. I’m lucky I get to market Lake Geneva with this guy because he sure knows meat.

Every once in a while, I’d notice a paper on the counter that said, “PORK FOR SALE.” It’s a whole list of meats from a processed pig at a special price. Since this is the first butcher shop I’ve frequently visited, I had no idea people could buy something like that. But the idea intrigued me. I kept my eye open and one day we bought a half pig of our own. At first, I thought we’d get a whole half pig, but when we went to pick it up, we realized it was all neatly packaged and already frozen for us. All 77 pounds of meat!

If you’re like me and you have a big empty chest freezer in your basement that used to be stocked with breastmilk, you have room to store a half pig’s worth of meat. We have two huge hams, pork chops, spareribs, country-style ribs, smoked pork hocks, ground pork, pork loin roasts, pork sausage links, pork steaks and nine glorious pounds of smoked bacon. Let’s face it, we did it for the bacon.

So far, we’ve made:

Bacon in the oven – it’s the best way to make bacon without all the messy cleanup

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place bacon in a single layer on an aluminum foil wrapped baking sheet.
  3. Bake bacon for 15 minutes. Flip and bake for another 5-10 minutes, keeping a close eye on the grease. You don’t want a grease fire in your oven.
  4. Remove from oven and promptly lay the bacon out on a plate covered with paper towels to soak in the extra grease.
  5. Throw away the greasy aluminum foil when cooled and enjoy the crunchy delicious bacon!

BBQ Pork Steaks on the grill – pork steaks are just like bone-in pork chops, but fattier and they’re usually cut thinner

  1. Pre-heat grill.
  2. Season pork steaks with your favorite BBQ seasoning. Let stand at room temperature.
  3. Grill pork steaks for 8-10 minutes over direct heat.
  4. Lather with your favorite BBQ sauce on one side – this helps keep cleanup to a minimum. Cover grill and let cook for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Remove from grill and let stand for a moment before digging in. Best served with fresh corn on the cob.

BBQ Pulled Pork in the slow cooker – this is my favorite thing to do with a pork shoulder roast!

  1. Put roast in slow cooker.
  2. Mix ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and BBQ seasonings together. Pour over the roast.
  3. Cook low and slow for up to 8 hours until meat falls apart.
  4. Pull the roast out of the slow cooker to shred, then return to juices.
  5. Serve on Hawaiian rolls with sliced pickles.

Lake Geneva Country Meat is currently taking orders for their annual pork sale. Stop by the store on Hwy 50 or give them a call at 262-248-3339 to reserve your hog today and snap a picture with their snow pig, left over from Lake Geneva’s Winterfest the last week of January. They’re giving away a $100 gift card to a random winner who shares their photo and tags it #LGSnowPig online. Enter before the pig melts!

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