Photo by Ellen Macdonald
When I picked up my organic, local heritage Duroc pig at the Caughman's Meat Plant in Lexington, S.C., it had all the usual parts: pork chops, ribs, ham and ground pork. My favorite is the ground pork — it is so versatile, easy to use and every time I cook it, it tastes amazing.
Ribs are my second favorite, but unfortunately a pig only has so many ribs, so I’m limited how many times I can have ribs for dinner. Hams are large and I can make many meals out of one ham, which is such a great value.
When you have a whole pig processed, you get the regular cuts of meat but you also get things like neck bones, jowls, liver and the whole pig head. I give the pig head and other parts to a family friend who usually has a bunch of people over for a pig party. Who doesn't love a party?
Because I had these extra parts of a pig that I normally don't know about or use, I decided to start experimenting with the neck bones and jowls. I find that neck bones make the most delicious broth, fragrant and meaty. I cook up onions, garlic, and a carrot with the neck bones, add water and let it all simmer for two to three hours. I then freeze that broth for soups, tomato sauces, and gravy.
When I cook using the Duroc pork broth, it adds a special element to the cooking that is meaningful and delicious. Using every part of the animal is a great way to be economical and ecological, not letting any part of the animal go to waste.
Life is about making memories and having experiences, when I daily take the time and effort to cook for my family, I feel great, because I am making great memories for my family.
Directions for Making Pork Bone Broth at Home
• pork jowls, neck bones and other parts
• 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
• 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1. Put the pork jowls, neck bones, and other parts in a deep pot. Add water to cover, filling the pot to about three quarters full.
2. Add garlic and carrots. Cover with a lid. Simmer on low for 3 to 4 hours.
3. Strain the broth into glass jars. Store in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks. Freeze for long-term storage.
April Jones is the founder of downtown Columbia, S.C.’s Pinehurst Farmers Market. Passionate about community, gardens, and farmer markets, April advocates for her community on issues of food justice and food sovereignty. Connect with April at Pinehurst Community Action on Facebook and at Pinehurst Farmers Market on Facebook. Read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts.