Pig Roast 2008

Okay, I’m gonna have my hands pretty full for the next couple days, and have been in southern Oregon for the past two, so this is just a quickie This is What’s Going On post. Also, Happy Birthday to my sexy genius husband!

We’re roasting a whole 100-lb. pig tomorrow. It will be delivered tonight, whereupon I shall slash its skin and smear a dry rub all over the shoulders and hams, and will inject the remaining parts with a spiced brine solution. Overnight it will sit in our storage freezer (turned off), in its cozy little body bag (a mattress bag from U-Haul) under bags of ice.

Tomorrow we will start bright and early getting several bags of Cowboy Charcoal (lump mesquite from Trader Joe’s) going in our chimney starter, and will line our hybrid Cuban-Hawaiian cooking pit (an aluminum-lined hole in the ground with a cinder block oven built around it) with glowing coals. We will layer these hot coals with apple, mesquite, hickory and cherry wood for smoke. I might throw some branches from our quince tree on there for good measure. Every hour or so, we will add another bag of hot coals and a handful or two of wood chips.

We are building a cage of sorts out of rebar and chicken wire to support the pig during cooking, which will be conducted over the hot coals rather than in them. This will require us to flip the pig once. This is what scares me the most.

I plan to have several feasting stations when it’s all ready: one for Carolina-style (buns, vinegar sauce and slaw), tacos (hot sauce, cilantro, minced onion and tortillas), a banh mi station (some julienned jalapeƱo and cilantro, plus I already made my own do chua that is tasting really good) and the coup de grace: the Cuban. We are going to wrap a few of the hot bricks in foil and use them as a roughshod panini press to create the mother of all sammiches. We’ll have our own ham (uncured, but still) and pork, and I will bust out a jar of quickles tonight. We even already have a wedge of Jarlsberg that needs eating.

Okay, that’s it for now. I need to go find a marinade-injecting syringe and make room for ten bags of lump coal in my car. I’ll update soon!