Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pig roast

My buddy JR wanted to have a blow out for this 40th birthday and decided to roast a pig. The only problem: JR's birthday is in February. Being afflicted with a February birthday myself I feel his pain and that's why he decided to celebrate last weekend.

Early on when he said he wanted to do a pig roast I offered my assistance. Growing up my family did pig roasts just about every Memorial Day weekend. While I had never done one myself I have watched many a pig be butchered after the fact and that's where JR wanted me.

The picture above is from when they opened up the cooker box for the first time to flip the porcine. It was a 70-pound pig, butterflied and JR brined it in a mixture of salt water and fruit juice for a day before. It was headless, JR didn't want to offend anyone, and I'm not sure if he butterflied it or if he ordered it that way.

The cooker box JR bought is a marvelous tool. I'm not saying that I'm going out to buy one right away, but in a couple of years it'll be on the top of my list. The pig basically roast in an oven with the coals on top. There are grates you can purchase as well to cook other items over the coals. You would want to be careful using this around small children, but the way it cooked the pig was amazing.

After the pig was done, I think it took around four hours, it rested for about an hour and then we got going butchering. It was so tender we were basically pulling meat off the carcass and then chopping it up, not difficult at all. And the meat was tender and delicious. Great stuff.

JR has put out quite the spread, there was also lasagna and too many salads to even mentioned. He also had plenty of booze and an open mic where people sang and played instruments. Thanks again for the great party JR.

Additional information from JR: "I’m glad I went headless not for the esthetics but it fit the box. I went to Grant Park Packing for it. I may have mentioned butterflied but I wound up cracking the shoulders open and the rib cage. My brother cut off the feet with a sawzall, I love power tools."

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