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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+12997) 3 years ago
As Amorette dutifully noted here several weeks ago, last weekend was Karen and my 25th wedding anniversary. To commemorate such a milestone event, we decided to throw a big party and roast a pig.

I ordered a pig from a local farmer here in Helena, who feeds his pigs spent grains from the Blackfoot River brewery. That makes for tasty pigs. Unfortunately, the local meat processor was not equipped to shave pigs, so I got a 48 lb. skinned pig with no head. It lost some of the wow factor, but what can you do?

Turns out that was the perfect size for my friend Denny's rotisserie operation. We roasted the pig on a spit, attached by belts to an electrical motor that slowly rotated it. We start the pig at the lowest level, then slowly lifted it to the next higher setting throughout the day.

The party was on Saturday, August 15. Friday afternoon I picked up the pig at the meat processor, and took it home. I rubbed it down with a spice rub mixture (cumin, chili powder, onion and garlic granules, salt, black pepper, sugar) the night before and let it sit in the cooler.

Danny came over around 9:00 am Saturday morning. Here he is attaching the pig to the spit:



After it was attached, we filled the cavity of the pig with assorted sausages - kielbasas, chorizo, linguica, andouille, from Western Meat Block and Redneck Meats, Danny then stitched the cavity up with string:



We then placed it on the racks, attached it to the motor, and began rotating it over charcoal at 9:30 a.m. Here it is after an hour:



You can see chunks of apple and oak wood in the fire pit. After three hours, it looked like this:



At this point, I began spritzing it frequently with 2 parts apple juice, 2 parts water, 1 part cider vinegar mop.

Six hours into it, its starting to get done:



Soon guests began to arrive and enjoy the four varieties of homebrew I have on tap - saison (Belgian farmhouse ale), Imperial IPA, classic American pilsner, and Vienna (dark German lager):



Then it was time to eat! Danny slit the pig's belly open, and all the sausages fell out to brown up on the grill:



Burp! The caramelized pig exterior was da BOMB! And we killed the kegs of pilsner and IPA (not much of the other two kegs, either).

My mom and Ingrid made it up for said event. Mom made a delicious peach cobbler.

I highly recommend this method of cooking a pig. The weight (and fat) of the sausages in the cavity prevented the backstraps from drying out before the shoulders and hams were cooked. The pork was falling apart tender.

Oh, and did I mention the skin?
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Posted by David Schott (+13540) 3 years ago
That'll teach that pig not to refer to his wife as a "pet".
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+9536) 3 years ago
Looks yummy! Glad to hear you bought it locally. Some company that sells whole pigs for commercial roasts is recalling them for salmonella.
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Posted by Bridgier (+8202) 3 years ago
So, ballpark, just how much does a 48# pig cost?
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Posted by David Schott (+13540) 3 years ago
Reply to Amorette Allison (#361221)
Amorette Allison wrote:
Looks yummy! Glad to hear you bought it locally. Some company that sells whole pigs for commercial roasts is recalling them for salmonella.

That would be Kapowsin Meats Inc. in Graham, WA.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+12997) 3 years ago
Reply to Bridgier (#361222)
Bridgier wrote:
So, ballpark, just how much does a 48# pig cost?


I paid the farmer $100 for the pig, and the meat processor $35. The 48 lb. weight was that of what you see, gutted, skinned, head and feet removed, and hung in his meat locker for 2 days before I picked it up.

[Edited by Gunnar Emilsson (8/21/2015 1:18:41 PM)]
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Posted by rhshilling (+85) 3 years ago
...and now I am hungry!

I like the rotisserie set up that your friend has. I have helped friends do pig roasts in the past. The first one I ever helped with was done in the ground. After that everyone started building roasters with hoods over them.

MMMmmm...roasted pulled pork.
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Posted by Ingird Emilsson (+195) 3 years ago
It was tasty. Moist and tender. And went really well with Gunnar's beer
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Posted by Joe R. Whalen (+226) 3 years ago
It'd sure be nice to pair this smoke we've got tonight with a small plate of cracklin' and a linguica sandwich with grilled onions on a sourdough roll. Nice work, Gunnar!
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+12997) 3 years ago
Thanks. The nice thing about the rotisserie was that as the heat rendered the pig fat, the fat just spun around on the surface, self-basting the pig. We stopped it twice to raise the pig up one notch in the rack and to take a temperature measurement, and each time the fat would start drizzling into the fire pit. Once the pig started spinning again, no more fat dripping.

We roasted a young goat (not an antelope, but the real McCoy) with it a couple of years ago, and while it was excellent, it came out a bit dry because it did not have nearly the fat content of a pig (plus the guy in charge of mopping it did a lousy job).

If 700 districts ever returns to 1 buck and 2 doe/fawn permits like it was 10 years ago, I plan on roasting a whole antelope with it. Maybe I would wrap it in a bacon weave.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+13931) 3 years ago
Looks like you went whole hog.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6172) 3 years ago
Hey, why wasn't I invited?
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