Two Pigs In A Poke

Two posts salvaged from the ruins of Archers, they were written three years apart. The admonishment on the first post still holds good – if you are squeamish or of a delicate disposition then find something else to do.

Butchering The Beast

Parental Guidance: Do NOT read this post if you are squeamish or a genuine vegetarian and you take that position based upon your firmly held belief that the killing of animals for their meat is wrong.

As we ease our way through the furnace that is August, I find myself savouring the delightful prospect of September’s gentler warmth by day with cooler evenings and restful nights when I’m no longer bathed in sweat or kept awake by the thrum of the air conditioner. I find myself anticipating the cooling caress of zephyrs as they flow, unrestricted through windows open to the elements, the calling of nightingales, the chirr of cicadas and the sound of the tractor approaching at 2 o’clock in the morning! I lie there, half hoping that it will pass by and carry on up the track – but they never do; not at that time of night.
The engine stops, and a voice will call out in a hoarse whisper as if hoping not to disturb me; ‘Ali Bey, Ali Bey. Domuz, domuz!’ This is followed by a sharp dig in the ribs from J’s rather sharp elbow and a hissed ‘It’s you they want. It was your idea in the first place!’
I sigh and get up; call out ‘Tamam’ to my neighbours (for it is they), drag on some old clothes and stagger downstairs – my day has begun early!
There, waiting at the gate will be two or three beaming ‘komşu’ and a very fresh and very dead wild pig! They know that J and I have limited freezer capacity so what they bring these days are small to medium sized beasts – the big stuff they take to the hotels that do pig roasts for their, mostly, German guests and earn themselves a pretty penny in the process. I hasten to add here that our neighbours do not generally go out hunting these days; they are protecting their fields of maize that can get ravaged in fairly short order by a herd of wild pigs bent on a night out on the razzle.
What follows is not my favourite way of spending the wee, small hours. I look at it this way though; if they don’t bring these smaller pigs to me then they will be dumped in the forest and that I see as a terrible waste, so I grin and bear it.
First, I find some old cardboard boxes and cover the stone table at the back of the house and my neighbours will bring in the beast, put it on the table and wish me a cheery ‘Goodnight!’
Then, I get out some rope, secure the animal, find some buckets and bowls and sharpen the knives – the butchery is about to begin . . .
I won’t boar you (geddit?) with the gory details; suffice it to say that I skin the beast completely; wild pig meat is fat free and looks and tastes like beef.
Some of you, no doubt are screwing up your faces and saying such things as ‘How could you do that?’ ‘Uck!’ etc. I can understand that – unless that is you say ‘Uck!’ and then carry on buying your meat from supermarkets that are supplied from factory farms. To you I say ‘Either give up meat altogether or start buying it from local butchers who get their animals from farmers who raise their beasts and fowls naturally – allowing them to lead more natural, stress-free lives before you unwrap them and stick their body parts on your barby!’


And This Little Piggy . .

After a long and enjoyable day out with new friends yesterday, J and I crashed early and were well and truly blotto by about 10.30pm.

Cue: ominous sound of car outside, gate being opened and door bell jangling followed by very dozy bloke staggering downstairs, opening door and gazing blankly at neighbour. ‘Domuz! Domuz!’ (Pig! Pig!) he said, ‘Do you want it?’ ‘Tamaam!’ I mumbled as I contemplated a ‘night of the long knives’.


the piggy in question

To set the record straight, our neighbours do not go out hunting much these days but they will shoot those rogue pigs that come and raid their gardens and crops, often causing utter devastation. Whilst I will never encourage hunting and would much prefer just to catch the odd glimpse of these wily creatures as they go about their business, I’m not going to turn down the chance of some delicious wild pig meat.

Anyway, last night I was in such a dopey state that I decided to put off the butchery until this morning. Six o’clock seemed to come around very quickly!


yes, I would be crass enough to have a glass of Chardonnay with wild boar casserole

Cue: in the early morning light a ‘Boffer’ stands and contemplates the task ahead – the beast looks bigger than it did last night. Oh,well, best be getting on with it, then! Now, J and I have long ago stopped eating offal and so I no longer paunch (gut) these animals.




I never claimed I was a proper butcher!

I simply skin, joint and fillet and then return the remains to the mountains where the local wildlife will benefit and make short shrift of the process of disposal.


in the hearse ready for ‘Table Mountain’ – the foxes, jackals, martens, birds and others will be very happy

So, as I write this and whilst the freezer does its thing, J has been preparing a traditional Italian/Milanese dish called Osso Buco, click the link for the recipe.

osso buco

Osso Buco

If you don’t have any wild boar meat then bear is a good substitute (so it says) – do not go hunting bears, or pigs for that matter – promise! If you really are intent on becoming a survivalist then I recommend John Wiseman’s ‘SAS Survival Handbook’.


Oh, and it’s not a good idea to eat bear if they’ve been eating salmon – it doesn’t taste so good.

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü