Had a pretty damn fine weekend.
I'm kind of known as the "Foodie" in my family. Yes I know I sound fat.
I am, so
Anyway, my nieces husband (nephew-in-law?) was turning 30 last week and my niece wanted to throw him a surprise birthday party. He's been wanting a pig roast for a long while and she asked me if I could make it happen.
Any of the pig roasts I have been too in this area have not been all that great. Pork is usually either under or over cooked, has zero flavor, outside burned-inside raw.....you get the picture. She only had about 60 guests expected and for these reasons I talked her into a smaller porker I could fit on my (big) BBQ. We were also doing turkey (the mostly Latin crowd seems to also love turkey) and beef brisket.
I've never done a whole hog before so was a little intimidated and concerned that it may not turn out and I'd be humiliated in front of a crowd of hungry party goers. I did a bunch of research and finally ordered a 40lb whole hog from a local butcher.
Got it picked up about 7:30pm Friday night. Realized at this point that it was going to be too big for my BBQ as is. Only had about 36" to work with so out came the knife and off went his head.
Rubbed down the inside cavity with a dry rub. Mixed up a stuffing of;
1 Large cooking onion
1 red pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
1 head of garlic
1/3lb of hot calbrese salami
1/2 cup of beef broth
1/3 cup olive oil
1 bag dried breadcrums (not sure how much in the bag)
Salt & Pepper
Chopped this all relatively fine, mixed it together and moistened just a little with the oil and stock - still pretty dry. Stuffed it in Porky and stitched him up.
I wrestled with the little porker to tie up the legs and make it as compact and uniform as a hog carcass can be to facilitate even cooking.
Packed it on ice for the night.
My research said it would take bout 5 hours on the BBQ at about 250-275F. Also needed about 1 hour of rest so the juices would stay in the meat. So about 10:30 am Saturday morning I throw Porky on the grille.
Rubbed him down with vegetable oil and some more rub on both sides.
You might notice the aluminum pans under the grilles. This made cleanup WAY easier. I did 35lbs of pork shoulder on this grille once before and all the fat that renders out made one hell of a mess for the power sprayer.
I use two cast iron smoker boxes loaded up with soaked apple wood chips right on top of the left most burner. There is foil covering them as well to direct dripping into the foil pans. I used about 3lbs of chips over the 5 hours.
After the first hour Mr Piggy looked like this...
Starting to brown up nicely. Did my best to keep the lid closed and keep the smoke and heat in. Cooked until the rear hams, furthest from the heat source, reached 175F.
After 5 hours, an hour of resting on the grille, and then almost 2 more kept warm under foil and some blankets (guest of honor was WAY late )...
Note the apple in the mouth! This is the reason for the piece of wood in the mouth back in the first pic. If you don't do that the mouth closes up.
Fortunately the meat stayed nice and hot under the foil and blankets I rigged up. Was still steaming and fall off the bone perfect when I cut it up.
An hour after the crowd had it's way with him....
No pictures of the stuffing (you can barely make out the bowl to the left of the pic) but it was phenomenal! Savory as all get out and just a bit of kick and hang around heat. Not so much the tea toddlers couldn't handle it but enough that those of us that like spice still knew it was there.
This bronze beauty turned out WAY better than I could have hoped. Everybody said it was among the best, if not THE best, pig roast they had ever had.
Considering how easy...and tasty...it was, I expect this will happen again.
Damn that looked great
did nobody eat the cheeks? Bloody heathens that is the best part!!
If you get a really big hog you can stuff the cavity with whole chickens and sausage links