Traditional roasted hog, tips for the modern cook1st September 2016
Buying the hog
You’ll want to talk with a trusted source when you make a purchase. Start small, you don’t need to prove anything with the size of your hog. Consider the time it requires to achieve a safe eating temperature when, ideally, you want to roast this hog on low heat for an extended amount of time. Don’t know any butchers? Why not just ask around at a hog farm? The Roasting Pig provide a full hog as well as hog roast equipment hire.
Cleaning the hog
The gutted hog carcass will have to be scalded with boiled water and then scraped with a blade to remove the hairs and outer grime prior to cooking. You don’t want to skip this step, as burnt hairs yield an acrid taste that is not easily covered.
Recipes to consider
It’s best to use similar recipes you enjoy on smaller portions of pork. Honey, pepper and salt are an old-time favorite, but be adventurous. Ask your hog provider how they would prepare a spit-roasted hog, they’re likely to give you a knowledgeable response.
Roasting the hog
Use a good hardwood for cooking the hog. Different hardwoods are available depending on your location, but applewood, maple and hickory are proven classics.
Making a spit upon which the hog roasts is as simple as driving a greenwood shaft, shaved of all bark, through the length of the hog, from mouth to vent. A shorter shaft will be driven below the arm and leg joints, flaying the hog to ensure even cooking. Many roasters like to nail the snout to the shaft for stability. The long shaft is affixed between two greenwood tripods on either side of the coal pit, which spans the length of the hog. Score the hog’s skin before roasting.
Do not start a bonfire beneath your hog. You don’t want to char the exterior while the core is still raw. Have the hot coals ready before the hog is introduced to heat. Keep the hog spinning while it roasts so no single area is favored by heat. Baste the hog regularly with your preferred sauce. The minimum recommended safe cooking temperature of pork is 71c. Depending on the size, you’re looking at 4-12 hours cooking time.
Fill the cooked hog’s mouth with an apple, peach or any other good fruit that pairs with your recipe.