Sunday, August 30, 2009
Mmmm....Crispy Pig. Misadventures in Pig Roasting
As if yesterdays picture was not gory enough, I bring you this Lord of the Flies homage (digitally altered to protect my identity). A lot of people have been getting upset over my documentation of the pig slaughter. To me it seems that if you are going to eat meat, you should be intimately acquainted with where it comes from. An old and oft spoken idea, but a valid one.
If you read the above linked post you will know that I prepared and roasted a 57 pound pig on Saturday. I was planning on roasting a 30 pound suckling-esque pig, but ended up with the 57 pounder. To make the pork fit the roasting setup that I constructed, I cut off the limbs and the head.
For flavor and juiciness I brined the pig pieces over night in 5 gallons of water, 2 cups salt, 1 1/2 cups sugar, a few dried chiles, peppercorns, and about a heads worth of garlic. This all sat in a garbage bag lined rubber made tub overnight with a few bags of ice. Here is me fishing pieces out to begin cooking the next day.
I had constructed two rack things out of some rebar and fencing material. As I said before, I was planning on much less pork. I had to play a little meat tetris to get it all to fit.
Here is the roasting setup in action. I dug a hole about a foot deep, around 24 by 36 inches. I started by letting about 20 pounds of charcoal burn for around 30 minutes. Using various bricks and cinder blocks I perched the pig about 3 feet above the coals. The meat got covered with some aluminum foil.
I simply basted with a mixture of vegetable oil, vinegar, sugar, and salt. I didn't really want to cover up the pork flavor with a whole lot of fancy spices or sauces. I let the sow cook, skin side up, for about 2 1/2 hours and then flipped and cooked for another couple hours.
While this was going I enjoyed some lovely ol' oat soda out of this wonderful chalice.
I let the charcoal burn a little hot so I got some charring which kind of sucked, but there was still a fair amount of nicely brown and crisped skin to munch on. The meat was actually very tender and moist, especially the shoulders.
Regrettably, I did not get any pictures of the prepared meat or people eating it. I was so absorbed with getting the pig cut up and ready to go that I really kind of forgot. People seemed to enjoy the roasted swine, so I was pretty happy. The only major faux pas was the somewhat charred skin. I feel like this was a good first go at pig roastin'. Now I am armed with the skills to do a much better job next time. I am hoping that Pig Roast, Part Deux involves a little more roastin' and a little less of the slaughterin'.