Meat! Meat! Meat! This is definitely not a vegetarian site. For vegetarians, we will happily discuss food made from animals that once ate vegetables. Lets talk about pork for a minute. As Homer Simpson so aptly put it “Sure, Lisa—pork chops, ham, and bacon all come from one animal. Some "magical" animal.” So do sausages, ribs, and pulled pork sandwiches. Last September, 2007 (these entries will most likely not be in a chronological order of events) our friend Kerry, a phenomenal cook, decided to roast a whole pig. It was glorious! He and I did some research and found a method that doesn't involve digging a hole in your back yard, or spending 24 hours stoking fires and soaking banana leaves. Three Guys from Miami are the kings of this method of roasting. Kudos for the help from their website http://cuban-christmas.com/pigroast.html. Although making the pit is a little labor intensive, many elements of it can be reused, and the results are amazing.
From left to right, that's Jeff, Jeff (or Jeffy as we affectionately call him), me, Mary's right shoulder, and Liz's left arm.
Tasting the crispy skin. Like a smokey pork rind.
People are very used the flavor of certain cuts of pork, such as ham and bacon. These cuts have been cured and/or smoked in order to achieve the unique taste that we associate with them. When roasting a whole pig, you don't get the variety of flavor that you would in the individual cuts. Because you rub the entire pig down with a mojo (a mixture of garlic, pepper, oregano, and orange juice, among other things), the flavor is relatively consistent throughout. The difference in cuts is in the texture. Preparing Porky in this method is not for the weak, or faint of heart. It requires muscle, a bit of help, and the ability to split a whole pig down the spine. We also love this method because it only takes about 6 to 8 hours of cooking time for a 100 lb pig. All said and done, the outcome is really worth the effort. It was a great day of hanging with friends, drinking mojitos and beer, listening to Cuban tunes, and eating copious amounts of hot, juicy, savory pork! Black beans and rice (aka Christians and Moors) make an excellent side dish. The food was so good that Kerry decided to do it again for the Superbowl, but that's an entry for another day.