|Name:||The Pig||Contributor:||Martin Golding|
|Description:||How to Cook a Pig||Posted:||1998-09-08|
|Key words:||pig||Category:||Main Dishes|
Shovel (or is that special equipment?)
|Preparation:||1) Mention that, having been trained in the process, you'd like to cook a pig in a pit, but you'd prefer that somebody else bear all the responsibility. When somebody else offers to bear said responsibility, do not consult a map before agreeing to drive over to their house and cook their pig.
2) Have somebody else dig a hole, a foot bigger in all dimensions than a pig.
3) Have somebody else acquire enough rocks to generously cover the bottom of the hole.
4) Have somebody else acquire a pile of hardwood, of the area of the hole and about a foot deep.
5) Obsess wildly about whether you have the foggiest idea what you're doing, and try to recall how much beer you'd had before agreeing to do it.
The above steps can be done weeks in advance, except for (5), which, properly done, is a continuous process up to the weekend planned for the pig.
6) Have somebody else acquire a pig.
6a) Have somebody else enlarge the hole to fit the pig.
7) Have somebody else carefully distribute the rocks on the bottom of the pit.
8) Wrap the pig in banana leaves.
Steps (6) through (8) should be done the night before.
9) Calculating back 1 hour plus 4 minutes per pound to cook the pig, and three hours for the fire to burn down to coals, have somebody else build the fire in the pit at 7:00 AM, presuming a seven o'clock serving and a hundred pound pig.
10) Sit in front of the fire, watching the sun lift over the trees, listening to the almost musical crackling of the coals, seeing the little gray snowflakes of ash dancing gently over the flames, and obsess about the quantity of wood (too little, and the rocks may be too cold, or even if not, the pig will have to go on early and will be overdone, or too much and it won't burn down enough to get the pig in on time and it won't be done for dinner and everybody will have to eat pizza and it'll be YOUR FAULT!).
11) At ten o'clock (for a 7PM serving and a HPP), tuck rocks into the belly and joints, stick a remote meat thermometer into a suitably meaty bit of the carcass, then have somebody else put the pig in the pit.
12) Have somebody else lay a sheet of plywood over the pit, and shovel several inches of dirt over it.
13) Obsess about the internal temperature of the pig for one hour plus four minutes per pound. Remember that if it cooks too fast it'll be limp and flaccid, too slow and it'll be _raw_. Be sure to consume vast amounts of coffee to assist you in obsessing maximally.
14) At the selected moment, full of selfdoubt about the internal temperature and the cooking process in general, have somebody else shovel the dirt off, flip the plywood out of the way, and boost the pig to the carving table.
15) Begin detaching a hind leg. While probing with the knife, pull gently on the bone to expose the joint. When the joint pulls loose by itself and the meat falls gently apart, wave the entire, perfectly cooked leg over your head in triumph, shouting something suitably inane ("THIS is a COOKED PIG!" is particularly worthy of your consideration.)
16) During the remainder of the party, think of the Ancient Mariner, as a warning not to buttonhole EVERYBODY there and tell them in great and unedited detail about the wondrousness of the pig.
17) Take ALL of the credit, and half of the leftover pork.
|Notes:||Wetleather parties really, really well. I'm sure it's entirely due to the long years they spent under my tutelage.|
|Equipment:||WetLeather, to do all the work and eat most of the pig.|