Saturday, July 14, 2012

pig roast

We've been raising pigs for a few years now, but this was our first pig roast.  I keep trying to come up with the right adjective to describe the whole experience but no one word sums it up.  Maybe intense or epic or something hearkening back to my California roots,but I don't know.  I was a vegetarian for 15 years, you might be surprised to read, and I never ever thought I would be literally looking my dinner right in the eye.  But, I did the other day.  It was not a simple meal.

Here is how it went, if you are interested.  It isn't super graphic in terms of the pig - maybe rated PG. I didn't feel right photographing it's face, for example.

Jonny decided to do it Cuban style, so a Cuban pig roasting pit was built. It isn't pretty, but it worked! 4 layers of cinder blocks and a rack made from re-bar all lashed together.

A charcoal fire was lit on the ground of the pit and pushed to the sides.

Then the 100 pound pig was butterflied and laid out on the rack. We marinated it overnight with a Cuban citrus and garlic and hard cider concoction.

We even injected it into the flesh.
another rack was added and the whole thing was lashed together 

and covered in aluminum foil to keep in the heat. It cooked slow and long.
Now the pit master sat his butt down and made sure there were no flare ups.  Every 40 minutes he added coals and about 3 hours in, the pig was flipped.  And, we ate the tail.  It's true.  It yoinked right off and it was delicious! 


Harry came out every once in a while to look at the progress, but you can bet Ava stayed pretty much right where you see her here.
This is what happened for 3 more hours.
And we readied the place for our many guests.
Lookin' good...
When the pig was roasted completely it needed to be flipped one more time to crisp up the skin on the back. Of course, the meat was falling off the bone at this point so things got a little hairy.

Before flipping all the way, a friend pulled out all of the pans with dripping so the coals could be raked out to make it nice and hot.  He got right in there.
It was a little like a sporting event with much muscle straining and sweat.

When it was time to lift the rack away from the pit and put it on the table, the hams fell through the rack and into the fire.  One friend reflexively went to save it but his brain kicked in and saved him first, so nobody was harmed.

Pablo and Andrew are ready for the pig pickin' to start. Look at that color!

I grabbed my camera just as this boy put down the cleaver and started using his hands.

The pork was delicious and tender. We had about 100 friends there to help us eat it, a keg of cider, and a ton of lovely things spread on the potluck table.  It was a great day and we will do it again.