So you want to roast a pig, do ya?
We sure did. It was worth the time and the effort.
The occasion was a going away party for four of my neighbor's friends. He asked me if I would be interested in helping him roast a pig for them. We thought trying a La Caja China would be a good way to go as it avoids that whole back-breaking-dig-a-big-hole-in-your-yard thing. We chipped in an bought the box for a very reasonable price and assembled it in about 45 minutes.
Here's my neighbor David Drazen with a pig that we purchased from Mt. Airy Butcher. They butterflied it for us and the price was very reasonable.
Here David is injecting the muscle with Mojo. This is a citrusy marinade you should prepare and chill the night before.
This is David and wife and son.
I invited some professional assistance for moral and knife support. This is Chef Jayson Lewellyn and his companion, The Good Doctor Gamble.
Once you get the pig in the rack and start with the charcoal, the process itself is fairly straight-forward and requires activity on the cook's part approximately every half-hour, so it leaves plenty of time for socializing and staying hydrated.
Every half-hour you need to either light new charcoal in chimneys so that they're ready to put on top of the box, or actually put them on top of the box, so make sure you have Siri being vigilant with bi-hourly alarms.
This is what it looked like after six hours. We flipped it over when the internal temp reached 180. Another hour is necessary for the skin to crisp up. Ideally 187 should be attained, but the natives were getting restless. Overall, I'd allow 8 hours from the time you start until you want to eat.
Here is Chef Jayson beheading the pig. We had a lot of kids around and we were worried that they might be put-off by the pig head, but it turns out that the adults were more squeamish about it than they were. The kids were actually pretty enthralled by the whole thing.
I got to help a bit, though I really just wanted to stay close to the action so I could nibble on the good bits.
I've been accused of talking someone's ear off before, but this was different.
Watching the chef go at the pig was entertaining and educational. I've never seen a whole pig broken down before.
Here he's separating the tenderloin.
In just a few minutes it was broken down into pieces that you could pick up and eat with your hands, which seemed to be the favored method.
Some folks didn't even use their hands!
We purchased a 70 pound pig, fed about 50 people (there were lots of side dishes as well) and ended up with about 20 pounds of leftover pork. Definitely worth trying if you've got the inclination.
Thanks for reading. No vegetarians need comment on this post. 8)