A couple of months ago, I decided to do something I'd always wanted to do...roast a pig by burying it in the ground. It was an awesome experience!
My son dug a pit 4 feet by 3 feet, and lined it with bricks. Since you need heat that is about 1 foot deep, I bought two cords of oak. The instructions Pit Cooking - How to cook in a hole in the ground, says it takes most of the day to burn wood down to what you need. HOWEVER, while we were in Chino buying the pig, my son called and said the wood was now ashes! Yikes, I saw dollar signs just floating away.
About buying the pig... this is not for the squeemish, truly! Friday morning, at Lizze's Lizze Custom Processing (Lizze Custom Processing Inc*) - Chino, California (CA) | Company Profile, they send you out back to select your live pig! It takes about an hour and a half to process so the best thing to do is go get some breakfast. Trust me, you do not want to hang out if you are plain city folks.
After a great breakfast of Indio tacos (cactus), rice, beans and freshly made potato chips with a melon cooler, we went back to pick up the pig. Uh, more squeemish detail.... You HAVE to go into the rendering plant to pick up your purchase. It is place where you have to watch them skin and then vacuum out the insides. No getting away from it. I have to say, we three women were very brave.
So we load up Bernice's SUV and head back to the LBC to Veronica's so we can get here large cooler to wash it in. After washing, we lay out, in this order, the plastic, the chicken wire, the wet burlap, the several layers of heavy duty foil. Then we coat it with Lawry's Seasoning Salt and then stuffed it with a ton of garlic cloves. Then wrap it up.
By this time, it was only my son and me and we had to use a dolly to get the pig to the ground pit. That was sooo hard and we really needed more people because I could hardly do my part.
So after we get it into the pit around 5 PM, we shovel the dirt on top of it and that was it. The next morning, my son checks and says maybe we need more coals on top. So I get 80 more pounds of charcoals to do it. All and all, it took 157 pounds of charcoal to cook it.
It came out of the ground at 2 PM Saturday. Thankfully, Floyd and Harry spent the day at the house so were there to help my son dig it up. Man, it was so hot (the pig) they had to let it rest for an hour and a half before unwrapping it. Harry came into the house and told me he had bad news, it wasn't any good. My knees grew weak and I was about to start screaming when I noticed he was eating a chunk. He had a good laugh and told me to taste. OMG, it was the very best piece of pork I'd ever eaten! Not greasy, seasoned just right and perfectly cooked.
The feast was set up in my driveway and even with 25 guests, each taking as much as they wanted, I still have four trays left over.
The complete menu was:
Rice and almond salad
Awesome sandwich rolls from Babette Bakery
Marieta Cookie cream dessert
Potato Chip/Pecan Crumble
Vanilla Ice Cream
Sweet potato Pie
Three coolers of Heinekin, Tecate and Budlight
Don's Red table wine
An assortment of condiments that included Harry's mom's canned slaw, Slap your Mama Cajun seasoning and an assortment of mustards and barbecue sauces
It was quite an adventure but my curiosity and desire has been fulfilled. It was about a week's worth of work and it seemed as if I was at the store more than I was at home. If we do it again, it will be done as a committee!