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See 3 Little Pigs Make a Half-Smoke, from Pig to Finish

Missy Frederick is the Cities Director for Eater.

Welcome back to Chef in the Kitchen, a recurring Eater photo feature where we boldly go where few diners have gone before — into D.C. restaurant kitchens — to get a sneak peek of the chef du jour hard at work.

[Photos: R. Lopez]

Ben's Chili Bowl doesn't have a monopoly on the half-smoke in D.C. Three Little Pigs Charcuterie & Salumi, a neighborhood butcher shop in Petworth, makes the iconic sausages from scratch and sells them at the White House farmers market on Thursdays. Chef Adam Goodison says they sell about 40 of the sausages each week, and customers can also order them to cook at home from the shop.

Eater photographer Rey Lopez spent several days with the chefs to capture the process from start to finish. The process of making the half-smokes takes Goodison and his sous chef Andy Clark about a week in total.

They start with a whole pig and break it down and dice up the meat of the animal. They dice up some beef and mix the two together with pork fat. They season it and put it in the freezer to chill.

They grind the meat, put it back in the freezer to chill, and then mix it with milk powder to hold it together. They rinse their 35/38 hog casings and stuff the sausage into the casing and let them hang for about two days to form a pellicle, a sticky layer on the surface — it helps the smoke stick to the sausages. They then smoke them in their outdoor smoker for about four hours, or until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees. Customers who buy one at the market get them with chimichurri sauce, onions, mustards, pickled red onions and baked beans.
· The Five Days of Meat [-EDC-]
· All Previous Coverage of Three Little Pigs [-EDC-]