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Pit Roasted Pig

Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions

for 100-120 servings. 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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