Food & Swine

Pig Chores & Caesar Sliders

Before getting all fancy yesterday for Winefest Des Moines’ “Iowa Lawn Party”, we did chores.  Here are some pictures of all of the fun and some of the nonsense.  We were totally stinky leaving the barn and the kids had a great time as usual.  We pulled out some red boar pigs that are looking pretty nice and I also enjoyed watching the crossbred boars try to mount one another… they are brothers, sick.  Spring has sprung, literally!  I’m including a quick ‘slider’ (small burger) recipe at the end of this post. This is one of the slider recipes I had on my mind for the Winefest Iowa Slider Challenge.  Not the winner as you can see here, but pretty quick to make, definitely different and worth grilling! Give it a try in pork or beef!

Heading in, all business for this guy.


Love these new bad boys.  Beats the old ones!  Plus they look suh-weeeeeeet with cutoff sweat-shorts.


Checking out the little ones.


Picking up her favorite pigs, anything with color, spots, etc.  She loves that!  (Thank goodness for crossbreds.)


More fun colored pigs!  (This is the proper way to hold small pigs for picking up, trust me.  It is safer this way for the pig and for my daughter.  Less injury and stress.)


She can’t get enough of them, they’re not quite used to her so she just waits around until they’re calmed down.


And then some attention, of course.


She’s a great helper.


Remember the orphan piglets we raised in our garage?  Here they are. 3 of 4 are still alive and well.


Halle loves to push the boar “Jackson” around.


He was bucking and woofing all around the barn.  I loved his enthusiasm… not so much when he was bucking, woofing and carrying on IN MY DIRECTION.  My husband even committed to ‘puckering up’ when Jackson was steamrollin’ my way.


Can you believe this was Jackson pictured on Christmas?


Then again a few days later.


After Jackson was put away we got out the two Duroc gilts out of Cinnamon.  They’re good old girls.  My son is getting the hang of things.  He has a big backswing of his little show whip but taps them very gently, it is hilarious.


Getting to know each other better by fashioning a ‘pig chaser’ toy out of a feed sack top.


She loves a shop towel on the end of a broomstick just as much!  Silly hogs.


Back to the pen for the gilts… time to round up the two red boars we kept ‘intact’ (aka: they still have their ummm… well…. testicles.)  I was greeted by two BROTHERS riding each other around their pen.  Seriously fellas, get a clue!


Quit looking at me, gah!


Got the boars out… here’s the resounding picture I got from them.  They’re not photogenic like their sisters.  They pose like their mother. See that memorable picture here.


Red little things… like their Dad “Red Sensation” at Lean Value Sires.


I love their ears.  So mysterious.


She’s so serious most of the time.


Someone just fell into a huge loaf.  Loaf of… well you know what I mean.  This bothered him tremendously.  And he smelled to high heaven.


They love it.


After everyone was fed, watered and ‘shown’ the little guy requested “dory-time”.  We talked about the pig that went to the gas station and bought an ice cream sandwich.  Anything goes in our stories.  Kids were miffed that they didn’t get to go to the gas station for ice cream sandwiches after chores.  Sorry Charlies!


Here’s the slider recipe, as promised.


Caesar Sliders!

by Cristen

Makes 18 sliders

Greek Seasoning for burgers

2 lbs. ground chuck 80/20 blend, or ground pork shoulder 80/20 blend

2 heads of romaine hearts, rinsed, cut into (36) 4” pieces, broken at rib to lay flat

1 small red onion sliced very thinly

3/4 C quality Caesar Dressing

6 ounces quality parmesan cheese, shaved into slices.

Preheat grill to medium high heat.  Divide ground chuck into 18 portions.  Press into desired shape to fit slider bun, handling meat as little as possible.  Depress center of raw burger slightly with thumb so burger doesn’t puff during grilling. Lightly season patties evenly on both sides with Greek Seasoning. Grill patties on one side 2 minutes.  Flip patties and finish grilling to medium rare (beef) or medium (pork or beef) doneness.  Remove and let rest 3 minutes.  Meanwhile, toast buns over grill grate.

To assemble:

  1. Place toasted bun bottoms on platter.

  2. Add patty.

  3. Add a few slices of parmesan cheese

  4. Add two very thin rings of red onion

  5. Take two 4” pieces of romaine, broken at the rib to lay flat. Add additional parmesan between slices of romaine if desired.

  6. Spread a generous 2 tsp amount of Caesar dressing onto top bun.

  7. Cover with toasted Caesar dressed bun top

  8. Place a skewer through each slider to hold in place.

*Option: Can be served open faced on grilled sourdough:

Grill thin sourdough slices (small in size), top with 1-2 tsp cesar dressing, patty, lettuce, a drizzle of 1-2 tsp dressing, parmesan crisp and then skewer.

Serve Immediately

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