Saturday, May 22, 2010

Guest Post Recipe: "Pit Cooked Pig"

I don't usually bother with advertising on this site, after all it's more of a hobby than anything else, but I had an email the other day from a new hog roasting company in the south west, Astridges, who were looking to spread the word about what they do. Since they were a local family firm - with a great look for their website! - and they were offering an interesting recipe for pit cooked pig I thought I'd give them a mention.

I've not tried their service yet as I've not seen them at any events, so can't vouch for them personally. I do know the butcher who supplies their meat though, Hartnell's, and have bought a fair bit from them myself over the years so can certainly vouch for the quality of their produce.

I would like to try one of their Lamb Roasts that's for sure. A whole lamb roasted at once? My idea of heaven :-)

Anyhow, here's the recipe - enjoy!

Pit Cooked Pig

Called Mumu cooking in Papa New Guinea, a Kula in Hawaii and a Porceddu in Sardinia, this rustic method of cooking a pig has provided a celebratory feast for many ancient cultures, dating back hundreds of years. A suckling pig was, and still is, a popular choice, particularly in Mediterranean countries where outdoor cooking and festive occasions are something we can only follow. The flavor and texture really is quite wonderful and delicious!
There are a number of variations but, in outline, a large pit is dug in the ground and layered with stones. A hardwood fire is then built up over a number of hours until the heat of the rocks reaches maximum temperature. The embers and the top layer of stones are then removed and the prepared whole pig, wrapped in wet aromatic leaves, is lowered on to the remaining stones and covered with the embers and spare stones. After this the pit is then back-filled with earth and the pig left to cook. Depending on the size of the pig this could take up to 12 hours... or more. To ensure the heat is maintained, a fire can be built over the top layer of stones and used as an alternative to backfilling the the pit with soil. Some of the hot stones can also be placed inside the pig cavity to generate a more even distribution of heat.
As an accompaniment, apples, corn on the cob and sweet potatoes wrapped in foil can also be cooked in the pit by burying them in the top layer of the soil about an hour before the pig is ready. 
I have have been to a wedding where they had a pit roasted pig – it was fantastic, BUT a lesson learned was to ensure that the pig is well wrapped and protected in a suitable layer. As delicious as it was I spent most of my time spitting out gritty soil and ash! For more detailed information there are a number of sites offering advice and instructions. 
If you'ld like to hire a Hog Roast caterer, why not get in touch with Astridges Hog Roasts and they'll be happy to help you.

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