About Vlkolínec

Hog killing

Hog killing in Vlkolínec used to take place at the beginning of winter.

By that time, pigs were usually sufficiently fattened. After killing the pig, it had to be cleaned in warm water.  People used to have difficult lives and so they used everything they could. That is why they first ripped out the fur, which was then used by the farmers to make brushes for whitewashing and painting of their homes.

Then they made openings in the hind legs below the knees, inside which they put a piece of bent wood. That is what the locals called “bilnica”. Then they put a wooden bar underneath, and using this bar they hang the pig from a chain, which was attached to the beam under the roof of the barn. Right after that, they removed the intestines and the stomach and separated the fat from the meat, to be used for bacon. Stomach and intestines had to be then thoroughly washed in the creek below the village in order to get rid of the original contents of the intestines and of the smell.

Other parts of the entrails, such as liver, lungs or spleen, were cooked in order to be used as filling for hash-and-crumbs sausages. After cooking, they minced them and added cooked blood, rice, garlic, onion and pepper. Then they could start filling the individual pieces of the large intestines. After filling them, they closed each piece at both ends using a thin wood cutting and the hash-and-crumbs sausages were ready to be cooked.

When the sausages were cooked, the hog-killing feast could begin. They started with a glass of distilled spirit and then they ate the hash-and-crumbs sausages, paprika-marinated pork chin and a soup made from the hog-killing broth.

After the feast, they cut and salted the meat. They placed the meat in a wooden tub, together with the bacon, the ribs and the back, covered it and stored it away. That was followed by preparing the meat for the meat sausages by cutting it up into small pieces. They added onion, garlic, pepper, salt and paprika and filled the cleaned pieces of the small intestine.

They cut the head into two pieces, cut off the snout, removed the brain, and they let it cook for the head cheese. They added the tongue, some of the chin and the liver, garlic, salt, paprika and pepper. They pressed it into the cleaned stomach, let it harden, and then it could be smoked.

After ten days of salting, the meat and the bacon were brought up to the attic and hung up, as the attic was the place where you would find the most smoke, and so the meat could get well smoked there.

Finally, they roasted the fat which they had removed from the entrails and from the poorer bacon. They stored the fat in the storage chamber in clay pots and it was used for cooking.