Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pig Roast

Well, here recently some family and friends and I gathered for a second annual party. The centerpiece of the do is a whole roasted pig. I got the general directions off the web, from these guys. In order to spare the sensibilities of more squeamish guests, we left the head with the processors and took off the feet. One nice thing about living in the Southwest, it isn't all that hard to find some place where "vende marrones" is advertised.

The directions call to build a roaster out of cinderblock, lined with some foil. You butterfly the pig and then fix it into a rack that goes on top of the roaster. Small fires in each corner provide heat and more foil over the top helps keep the heat in. The pig was marinated overnight in a mojo of sour orange, garlic, black pepper, salt, and oregano. More garlic is studded through the meat. Last year, I got too aggressive on the fire and charred the skin of the pig, although the meat came off the bone fork tender and well rendered of any fat. This year, I kept the fire down too low, resulting in roast pork with a nice flavor that had to be cut off the bone, rather than falling off. Also, the skin was a bit under-done to enjoy as a crispy treat.

Only one solution to the problem. Now that I've bracketed either end of done, a third try is required to get to "just right". Regardless of the state of the pork, it was a nice party with plenty of good folks, food, beer, wine, water, laughter, and all those other things necessary to a good life.


Matt Mullenix said...

That's one "do-over" you won't mind doing over.

Third time's a charm!

Jerry said...

Wild pig or sto' bought?
Hunt many Javelinas or feral pigs down your way?

mdmnm said...

Hey Jerry,

Store bought. I've hunted feral hogs from south Texas and processed one with my Dad. Lots of cutting to get to the meat and get the connective tissue off. It was a young boar and getting the hide and cartilage plate off was a lot of work. It probably should have been a candidate for slow cooking, rather than the boning and trimming we did.

Javelina are a whole other ball of wax. Growing up in west Texas, they weren't subject to any season or restrictions. Really fine, mild white meat and one of my very favorites. Now Texas, NM and Arizona all have seasons for javelina and NM and Arizona require that you draw for them. I live well north of their populations and haven't ever put it for a tag. I still get the occasional helping of javelina from sources in Texas. Their bristles make great dry fly bodies, too (though only down to a size 14 or so).

Someday I'd love to get a good picture of a bunch of javelina on a cold morning in south Texas. They all pile together under a big bush to stay warm, so all you see is a salt-and-pepper mass of bodies with pink noses sticking out at various angles.

Steve Bodio said...

Got to try this-- where do you get your pig? (Maybe for winter Blogfiesta?)

Just found out from my friend Omar that he has been seeing Javelina in the NORTHERN San Mateos this summer. I have also seen tracks in the Magdalena arroyo. It is time to start applying for a local hunt!

mdmnm said...


I've seen javelina down by Hillsboro, but never as anywhere as far north as you! Of course, I haven't done much down in your end of the country, apart from a few years deer hunting west of Datil and one antelope hunt. Time to start putting in, indeed. Just remember to take out the scent gland on the back.

The pig came from Isleta Feeds in the South Valley. Very reasonable. They take it down the day you are going to pick it up and do a nice job of dressing and scraping. Blogfiesta would be great!