PORK AND DEER SAUSAGES
In Aragon the slaughter or "slaughter" of the pig has been one of the most deeply rooted family traditions. Although today's society, especially the urban one, no longer contemplates certain practices and consumption habits have changed a lot, there are still households in Aragon that maintain it. Perhaps the form of execution has changed, but the objective is the same: to fill the pantry of the families after an intense day of work together. Ancient processes and homemade formulas are then applied, with recognizable tools that were not lacking in any home, to take advantage of each of the parts of an animal that is said to be nothing wrong. They come out loins, chorizos, sausages, black pudding, etc.
Actually the slaughter began with the purchase of the pig. Because although there were those who acquired the animal already grown, with the right size and weight to be sacrificed, many other families preferred to raise it. They bought their pig at the spring fairs, still in the form of a piglet. Thus not only did they save money, but they could control the feeding and the fattening process of what they were going to eat.
In the past there were other things to consider before the slaughter. It was important to praise the matachin, since properly killing and butchering a sizable pig has never been easy and, in a way, "has its art." In addition, you had to notify the City Council, since the normal thing was to pay a tax on weights and measures.
The usual thing today is to be obliged to do it in a slaughterhouse, with people and material prepared for it. Food safety is imposed, although many years ago in traditional slaughterhouses the veterinarian was aware of the meat with samples of selected parts. "The test" was another step that became a habit. In fact, the verdict of the doctor, usually at noon, was the step prior to starting to eat the first pieces of the pig.
Because before, the whole process was done at home. Or between the corral and the house. The day was carefully prepared since it was a party for the whole family, even a time for the reunion. Between all of them they put the essential elements, from the wooden bench or the trough for the sacrifice and cleaning of the animal to the capoladora, the bread or the spices for the elaboration of the meat.
Once the bacon bled to death, with the blood safely stored to make black pudding, you have to clean its skin of hair to begin to dismember it. The custom is to use gorse to burn it first and hot water and "rough" stone to clean it later. The viscera is the first thing that is extracted from the animal. It is also what you will eat first. The tripe, well washed in the morning, will later be used to stuff sausages and sausages. Nothing is wasted.
When everything is cut and classified, covered with rags in baskets or on reeds in which the large pieces are aired, it is time to eat. It is the moment of the typical “sartenada”, when the viscera and other pieces of meat of the pig that has just died are fried. It is time to comment on what happened in the morning and start organizing the "tripe".
"Tripe" is called the meat that is going to be transformed into sausage. It is chopped, mixed with spices indicated in the basins and, using a tool as special as it is defined, this mixture is introduced into the previously cleaned guts. It is a slow and careful process, which ends up hanging the strings in a place where the cold winter air blows, usually the barn, so that the sausages are cured.