High on the Hog

Tenderloin on Rice

There is an old phrase about “eating high on the hog.” If you look at a pork cut chart you’ll notice that the expensive cuts of pork come from, literally, high on the hog – the loin, tenderloin and sirloin cuts of meat. Next down are the shoulder (a personal favorite), ham and bacon.

Normally our family eats low on the hog. Despite the fact that we raise a lot of pastured pigs we don’t eat very many pork chops, tenderloins, sirloins, etc. Those expensive cuts go to customers, to stores, restaurants and other buyers. Rather our family’s fare tends to be more of the Farmer’s Basket with soups and stews made from the hocks, feet, heads, bones and such. Good hearthy, healthy warming food from lower down on the hog.

Occasionally a package of pork chops or tenderloin has a problem – the seal isn’t right or something like that. When it is unsalable it goes into our freezer and we get a taste of high on the hog dining. This gives me a chance to quality control check our meat – all in the interest of science. I must admit those tenderloin medallions were wonderful and tender so I can understand why people are willing to pay so much to eat high on the hog.

Outdoors: 25°F/11°F Cloudy, Light Snow 1/2″
Tiny Cottage: 65°F/61°F

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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6 Responses to High on the Hog

  1. Mary Ricksen says:

    So what is that? What is in the recipe to make it? Is there meat in the sauce with vegetables? Curious.
    Do you ever get attached to a pig?
    It would be hard to slaughter if you did. I am such a softie, I could see myself making one or two pets.
    Here's hoping for a warm up in the weather for you and your family!

  2. I always wondered where that saying came from! I suspect we'll be eating lower down on the hog as well, once our Large Black Hog farming endeavor gets going here in Northern New Mexico. Luckily, I've always liked that food. ;-) Pork hocks + NM green chile + pinto beans + slow cooked = yum.

    Enjoy your blog as always.


  3. Mmmmm looks GOOD. Yes, recipe please. ;) I guess I never thought of a pig farmer not eating "high on the hog". We usually process two pigs at a time, and sell 1/4 or a 1/2, keeping the remaining meat for our freezer. Last night it was pork steak. We also do a lot of maple flavoring with bacon, sausages. And have some deluxe or cherry brats made up. Getting hungry now ~ heading to the main cabin to get dinner started!

  4. Holly says:

    Oops, there is no recipe. I made it up as I went along, hoping for the best.

    I fried up the tenderloin medallions in some oil. I think the trick is to not overcook these. I put my burner on the hot side to get some browning on the outside, but took them off fairly quickly to keep them tender. I set these aside.

    For the veggie sauce it was really a question of what was in the frig. Started with braising some onions. Then added carrots and some cabbage. After a bit, to let the carrots soften some, I added the tomato sauce, seasoning and frozen peas and corn. Cooked till the peas and corn were hot and served over rice.

    Disclaimer: I am not a chef. Just a regular "get something on the table and hope for the best" kind of cook.

  5. Thanks for the play-by-play Holly. You are the best kind of cook ~ creative!

    Sounds wonderful. I'll have to try and emulate your culinary concoction~!

  6. June in Maine says:

    Holy, that looks like a fine meal. I cook like you do, the only time that's bad is when something comes out really good and don't have a clue how you did it. Our boys will be ready for slaughter the 1st of April, and unfortunately, my husband talks too much and has managed to sell ALL our pork, so we don't get any till next time around. Bless his heart.

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