Roasting a Pig

For our Pig Roast 2011, Dan (and I because I am wife and chief assistant in these ventures) decided to go all out with the pig roasting this year.

We have rented the pig roaster in years past. Renting a roaster is none too cheap, so this year we bought this much cheaper roaster on-line. It’s a charcoal roaster which appealed to Dan because the flavor of meat cooked over charcoal is just so much better, and the price of this roaster will redeem itself in 2 years.

The roaster is no where near the sturdiness of the iron (?) propane fed roasters we’ve rented in previous years, but the cost and better flavor were too tempting to pass up.

Note: The roaster was washed before we cooked the pig, and no Georges were harmed in the making of this pig.

Dan followed general plan for roasting our pig:

  1. Brine for 12 hours.
  2. Injecting and marinading for 12 hours.
  3. Roasting for 5-1/2 hours
  4. Coating with glaze then an additional 30 minutes to make the skin crispy.

His sources were the website for the roaster, La Caja China, and Adam Perry Lang’s Crispy Suckling Pig with Spicy Sweet-Sour Glaze.

First up the Mojo Marinade:

Since all of the instructions are listed on the website, I’ll just highlight how we did it.

40 Cloves of garlic. Do you know how many that is? A bazillion basically.

Grating the garlic…

**Safety Note: Wear gloves when shredding the garlic. Garlic can BURN your skin! How do we know, you might ask? Dan lost a layer of skin on his forefinger, thumb, and middle finger where he was holding the garlic. No joke. It is quite painful too. If you do get burned, hold the burned skin in yogurt or milk for 25 minutes. You will not start to feel relief until about minute 20. I’m so sorry if you’ve been through this, it is truly terrible. Ask Dan.**

Dan tackled the garlic, bless his heart fingers, while I made the rest of the marinade. I was finished long before he was. We are old school. We grated every single clove by hand.

Marinade ready to go!

If you read the instructions, you will see we were supposed to strain the marinade. We didn’t. It was chunky. It still tasted lovely.

Next up, homemade sauces!

We decided to make two homemade sauces this year. We were a little afraid that people wouldn’t like them, so we did put out one bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s.

I was shocked when people deliberately ate the store-bought sauce instead of homemade. They didn’t even try the homemade! How do you know you don’t like it if you don’t try it? What is wrong with people these days? Are we so used to mass-produced products we cannot imagine the joys of homemade cooking? Can’t we live outside our comfort zone?

I digress. I live for new foods. I guess not everyone does. Their loss.

What were we doing? Right. Sauces.

We made two sauce from the Barbeque Bible: Mojo (Cuban Citris Garlic Sauce) and Honey-Pepper Barbeque Sauce.

Mojo (Cuban Citrus Garlic Sauce)

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 8 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2/3 cup fresh sour orange juice or 1/2 cup fresh lime juice and 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice (We used Simply Orange juice)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea), or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley

Heat olive oil in deep sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant and pale golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Stir in orange juice, water, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring sauce to a rolling boil, correct the seasoning, adding salt and pepper if needed. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature then add cilantro or parsley.

Eat immediately or store covered in the refrigerator. Will keep for several weeks.

Honey-Pepper Barbeque Sauce

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced yellow bell pepper
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chili, seeded and finely chopped (We, of course, left the seeds in!)
  • 1-1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup 7up or Sprite
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • coarse salt (kosher or sea)

Pour honey into a saucepan. Add peppers, onion, and jalapeno and “saute” over medium heat until the peppers are soft and the onion translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer the sauce, uncovered, until thick, 15 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a blender and puree until smooth. Correct the seasoning, adding salt, vinegar, or brown sugar if needed.

Use immediately or cover and store in the fridge. Will keep for several months.

With the sauces ready to go, Dan started the brine. Twelve hours of brine then twelve hours of marinade.

Here’s Wilbur ready to enter the roaster!

Starting the charcoal…

Now for hours of just chillin’ and watching the fire…

Thankfully, it was a beautiful night. Dan and my brother Zach stayed up all night to keep watch. In previous years we’ve been able to just check on the pig every 2 hours, but with the exposed coals, someone had to stay out in the driveway all night.

It’s all good though, at about 3am, Dan and Zach attacked a huge bee nest in one of the trees by the house. Those bees never knew what hit them. ๐Ÿ™‚

After the glaze and 1/2 hour of more cooking in the roaster, Wilbur’s done! Isn’t he lovely?

There are lots of steps, but overall, not too difficult of a process. Although it is time consuming and sleep reducing process. ๐Ÿ™‚

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