Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pig Pickin'

The Pig:

Mogul of appetite,
lord of misrule,
the king who must die.
- John Thorne, Serious Pig

So... I roasted my first pig. This is pretty much how I did it:
Eat a lot of pig, then consider to yourself, "Hey, could I do this?"
I, personally, like to know what I'm getting into when these things occur, so I did some research.
You may want to wing it.

I consulted a couple of reliable sources in the matter:

Then I ordered a 20 lb piglet from a local butcher, Henry's Market.
It's the new Waterford location of the Bennington VT mainstay.

I had a couple of days to kill, so I cooked up a couple-a-three tasty vinegar-based mopping sauces:
  • Sweet
  • Hot
  • Mustard
(One for each of the Carolinas)
Pig day arrived and here's what I brought home:
So it wouldn't be lonely, I found a friend.

They took a nice 15 hour bath together:
  • A couple of gallons of brine at 20-1, H20 to NaCl
  • A dozen cloves of garlic, smashed
  • A lemon
  • Handful of ground black pepper
  • Handful of ground chipotle peppers
  • Handful of brown sugar

After rinsing a couple of times, the chicken was stuffed with the scavenged remains of the brine and some sausage. Then all that was stuffed into the pig.

A little surgery to keep everything in place.

A nod to tradition.

(That's some pig!)

And into the oven...
I estimated about 4 hours based on weight, but ended up leaving it in 4.5 to allow for the stuffing.

This was the turn, at about 2 hours. Browning starting to kick in, and the skin is really tightening up!

And then it set for about an hour. (There was some considerable pressure from the assembled masses to dig in right away, but I held firm.)

We passed the time filming commercials.

Finally, the pig makes it to the table.

Various sides: slaw, potatoes (salt and salad), pickles, olives, peppers, sauces, buns, tortillas, and guacamole.

Carving commenced and prime cuts were given a place of honor on the table.

Some more meatball surgery to get to the good stuffed parts.

So... that was my first pig, and I'm sticking to it.