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Print this Recipe    Pit Roasted Pig

for 100-120 servings

1 100lb pig, dressed weight
shovel
pit
hickory wood
bed springs
4 metal garbage can lids
iron pot or bucket
large spoon
2 quarts water
1/2 cup salt
1 tsp red pepper
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup vinegar

First, locate a pig. About three weeks ahead, call a local butcher
or supermarket to place the order. The whole hog is festive and
decorative, but fresh hams or pork shoulders cook more efficiently.
The are more economical than ribs. Have the butcher remove the head
and knuckles, and saw pig's backbone to lay spread eagle while
roasting.

In the meantime, dig the pit on solid ground. It should be about
12-16 inches deep, 3.5 feet wide and 5 feet long. Slope and taper
the pit on either end.

Fill the pit with one or two bushels of oak or hickory twigs. Burn
down to ashes. This dries out the pit.

Make a second fire near one end of the pit. Thiss will supply the
coals to cook the meat during the night and day long roasting time.
Spread them conservatively as needed for a slow fire under the
meat.

Lay iron rods, bunk bed springs or heavy hog wire mesh over the
pit to suppoert the pig. Lay the whole pig on this rack, spread-eagled,
meat side down.

Toast the pig with a mint julep. Wish him good luck and thank him
for what he is about to do for you.

Make heavy brine with the remaining edible ingredients. Turn and
baste meat during cooking. Roast slowly 12- 18 hours, or until
internal temp. reads 170 degrees. Barbeque sauce is added after
pig is cooked. It will burn, if applied during roasting. The brine
permeates and seasons the roasting meat.

If you add too many coals, the dripping grease will catch fire and
flare up. Smother these flames with the back of the shovel.

After the pig is properly blessed and cooking, cover with four
clean, metal garbage can lids or metal roofing sheet (old Coco-Cola
signs have also been used). This retains the heat during the early
morning hours, but it's loose enough to let smoke circulate slowly
and season the meat.

The last 8-10 hours of cooking, turn pig over, skin side down. This
will render the fat out of the skin while cooking. As the fat
accumulates around the ribs and shoulders, collect it with the
large spoon. Save it in the iron pot. It congeals into lard.
Remember: Cook slowly to retain moisture and prevent burning.

Note: After the long night, when you turn the pig, pick off little
bits and pieces of pork. These make a great breakfast with hot
coffee.

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