Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Pig Roast

Once again, we roasted a whole pig and had a few friends by. This last Saturday featured cool, cloudy weather and, later on, the first rain we've had in nearly a month. Plan a party....

In addition to the usual cast of friends and family, this year also featured a significant number of in-the-flesh appearances by a number of NM bloggers of things outdoor and ecclectic. It was awfully nice of all those folks to travel up and down state to socialize a bit. Though more-or-less local, Querencia country and the city of the Atomic Nerds are a good bit over a hundred miles away. No big deal on your way to a party, much less fun on the way home.

Here are directions for the method. This is the roaster, constructed out of stacked-up cinder blocks lined with foil for the first two courses. A sheet of metal, also covered with foil, goes in the bottom and you build a fire in each end, then rake the coals into the corners. Every forty minutes or so, you add more charcoal by removing a cinder block and dropping or tossing the charcoal onto the fire. Here's the roaster set up with the fire getting started:

My rack is built out of non-galvanized hog-wire, fenceposts, and lengths of rebar all wired together. Here's the pig after 24 hours in marinade, laid out and about to be wired into the rack:

Once the pig was securely fastened to the rack, we put it on the roaster and covered the whole thing with foil to keep the heat in. Booker kept watch over the pig:

Once the pig was off the fire, Booker also spent a fair amount of time under the carving station. At the end of the evening, I went to scratch his ears and noticed something stiff in his normally soft hair. It was fat that had run off the pig while we were carving and landed on his head as he scouted under the table for lost bits. While it didn't burn him, it was pretty disgusting and made him smell like barbecue instead of dog. The large-dog method of bathing was in order fairly promptly the next morning.

As it cooked, we occasionally wiped down the pig with a mojo of sour orange, garlic, black pepper, salt, and oregano:

Flipping the pig. The smallest pig I could get this year was 100 pounds which made this a bit of a chore and lengthened the cooking time quite a bit:

Testing- looks about done:

Cutting crispy skin for those who'd like a bite:

Getting into the meat of things:

Next year, a smaller pig and another hour or two on the fire. I want that meat falling off the bone. In the meantime, I have about twenty pounds of boneless roasted pork in the freezer. Now that the weather has turned cool, perhaps some red chile is in order.


Steve Bodio said...

"No big deal on your way to a party, much less fun on the way home."

It was worth it-- thanks, Mike!

Anonymous said...

Amen! I could've done without the rain picking up from drizzle to gully-washer once we got back north of Santa Fe (oh well, we really needed it anyway), but it was a blast meeting you folks, and well worth the drive!

Chas S. Clifton said...

Looks yummy. Sorry I could not be there.

Beverly said...

Oh YUMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmm! Only once have I had wild pig...at least I'm assuming the pig you cooked was the result of a hunt. Maybe not, but still...since you also seem to enjoy good food, I've just got to share this with you. My friends, who cooked the pig they shot in the Santa Cruz Mtns of CA, mixed up a concoction of homemade applesauce and fresh grated horseradish. It can be mixed 50/50 or more or less of the horseraddish, as your tastebuds can handle. (wear gloves when grating). It was awesome with the pork!

And...what a lovely blog; I'll be back! And...were ARE you, anyway? I'm in way-south-central CO; couple hours from Taos and just a little farther from Denver.

mdmnm said...

Hi Beverly,


Not a wild pig, but a local domestic pig. I'd probably try this with a small, fat wild hog, but such aren't really available in NM, only a few feral hogs down in the Sacramento Mtns and I'm not down there much. The horseradish/applesauce mix sounds really nice, especially with stronger flavored pork.

I live in Albuquerque.

sv said...

Hi! Where did you find non-galvanized hog wire?


mdmnm said...

I found it at a big-box hardware store, Lowe's I think. The wire I used was actually panels of reenforcing wire for concrete work- they were about the right size, I only had to cut off a foot or so, non-galvinized and a bit heavier than fencing material.