A couple of weeks ago, editor and historian Jim McClure tackled the topic of hogmaw, always a favorite discussion point for readers over here on this blog!
That reminded me that I have some responses to share to some earlier posts on just that topic.
Reader Andrea writes: “As a child, I can remember going to my uncle’s hog farm in the winter to butcher. I had 2 jobs. First was to clean the ‘sausage casing’ and stuff it, second was to scrape and clean the stomach. Growing up around this, it’s not hard to imagine that when mom made hogmaw we would fight over the skin. The most prized were the thick ends. Dad always won. Now that I cook my own food, I don’t have to fight for my ends. Oh yeah, we have hogmaw for our New Year’s Day dinner.”
Another reader, Lynn, writes: “I grew up in my grandfather’s butcher shop and my grandmother made hogmaw frequently. When I got married, that was one dish I had to learn how to make. Our family, reluctantly, tasted it and now everyone loves it, skin and all. If you like sausage and potatoes you would like it and you don’t have to eat the skin, but that gives it the flavor.”
(Yes, I’m definitely not a fan of eating the skin, though I admit I still haven’t gotten brave enough to try the REST of it, either.)
Commenter wholli also weighs in on the skin/no-skin issue: “I remember hogmaw meals at family gatherings once a year and how delicious it was, so I was just looking to find a recipe for it ’cause all my aunts and mom are going who made it, so now I will attempt it myself. The lining is a personal call; half like it and others didn’t but none was ever left over.”
Perhaps my favorite comment came from reader Gene Anstine. He writes: “My grandmother used to make two hogmaws for every holiday because I would eat one myself.” Now, he says, he only makes it for himself and a couple of friends.
If you’d like to make one yourself, make sure to check out that post of Jim’s for two great recipes.