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Pig Roast - Cuban Style
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Paul



Joined: 25 May 2008
Posts: 1556
Location: St Thomas, Ontario, CANADA

PostPosted: Friday 12-26-2008 11:57 am    Post subject: Pig Roast - Cuban Style Reply with quote

Two summers back, I roasted a pig for my 40th birthday. It turned out very well. Some time ago, Joanne asked if I would post the "how-to" here.

I followed the directions at this website (http://cuban-christmas.com/pigroast.html), but I'll repost with the pics I've dug up along with some from the website.


I bought a 60lb. pig from the butcher, all cleaned and the hair removed. You REALLY need to consider where you are going to safely store something of this size until it's ready to cook. I picked it up the night before just as the butcher was closing and I already had a large enough tub with plenty of ice on hand.

Warning... preparing a whole pig is not for the faint-of-heart! Laughing My mom didn't even come to the party, 'cause she didn't want to see the piggy!

First things first, with this cooking method you need to split the pig's spine so it can be splayed-out almost flat. I used a hammer and an old machete - cleaned beforehand of-course! It's best if you can have a helper or two on hand as well.



You'll need to marinate overnight.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mojo Marinade Recipe (from the website)

Garlic Cloves
Salt
Black peppercorns (whole)
Oregano
Sour orange juice
(In a pinch, use two parts orange to one part lemon and one part lime)
The key to making mojo is in the proportions. The nice thing is that you can make exactly the amount you need.

For a pig, we use four or five large HEADS of garlic! That's approximately 70 to 80 cloves.

Use a mortar and pestle. Add approximately ten cloves of garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, some black peppercorns, and some oregano. Mash them all together into a paste. Scoop the paste out into a separate bowl. Continue this process until all of the garlic (all five heads) is mashed.

Stir in sour orange juice. (Five heads of garlic should be added to about 1 quart of sour orange juice to make a mojo for a whole pig.) Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or longer. Use immediately to season the pig or refrigerate for later use.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here's my piggy with the Mojo.... I also cut small slits in the meat and inserted pieces of garlic.



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Building the Oven

You'll need 48 clean concrete blocks, some sheet metal (NOT galvanized) and A LOT of tin-foil.

Here is outline for the blocks...



Make sure you remove any grass underneath beforehand. You can easily save it and re-lay the sod afterwards. I had my helper for this one...


Just making sure the rack fits. You can see that I didn't quite lay-out the end bricks properly - I changed this later before I started cooking.



I also lined the sides of the bottom 2-rows of brick with tinfoil and I had some heavier gauge sheet metal to line the bottom - on top of the dirt.


------------------------------------------------------------------

Building the Cooking Rack

There are other methods on the website, but this is the one I used. Had a friend weld-up some steel bar as follows (remember, you'll need TWO of these).


The splayed pig gets sandwiched between the two racks. You will need some heavy gauge wire (preferably NOT galvanized) to tie everything together.
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Starting the Fire & Cooking the Pig

I used one 10 or 15lb. bag of briquettes to get things started. I wanted to warm up the concrete blocks before I really started cooking.



Once the briquettes were nice and ashy and almost completely gone, I added charcoal. Once this is going well, you divide the fire and move equal charcoal portions into each corner of the oven. A garden hoe or small rake works well for this.

Place the pig (in the rack) skin-side-down, over the oven and cover completely with tin foil. Place small rocks on the foil to prevent it from blowing away.



You will need to add more charcoal every 40 minutes or so. You can remove a couple of the end blocks and drop new charcoal into each corner. I used some hickory wood chips as well - just for some added flavour.



Halfway through the cooking time, the rack needs to be flipped. Remove the rocks and tinfoil, and have two strong people (with gloves) carefully turn the pig so the skin is now right-side-up. Add some more charcoal to the corners and cover in new tinfoil.



Near the end of your cooking time, have two friends tilt the rack on its side so you can distribute the coals over the entire bottom of the oven.


Place the pig, skin side down again for only a few minutes to crisp the skin. There's no need (or time) to cover it with tinfoil again. Watch it carefully as the distributed coals generate a ton of heat and the skin will burn quickly.... you just want it crispy! I left it a wee bit too long... but still good! Sure draws a crowd too!!!!!



I had a table close by to do the carving. Put all the meat into tin pans and everyone just helped themselves.


The entire cooking time was only around 4 hours and I used about 30-40 lbs. of charcoal. I also used a meat thermometer to be sure everything was done. You have to be extremely careful that everything is cooked completely!!! I was very surprised when I realized that there were absolutely NO leftovers!!!! For 50 people, I should've done a 80-90lb. pig!!!!!! Homemade BBQ sauce, Corn-on-the-cob, fresh white buns, baked beans, coleslaw and other salads.... and A LOT of ice cold beer.... it was a GREAT day!!!!!
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camp_cookie



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
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Location: Northeast Georgia

PostPosted: Friday 12-26-2008 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nicely done!!
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Cobbler Gobbler



Joined: 15 Jan 2008
Posts: 450
Location: Monroe, Georgia

PostPosted: Friday 12-26-2008 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WELL SAID COOKIE.......BRAVO, PAUL. That is a pig of beauty!
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justmike



Joined: 09 Sep 2008
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Location: Idaho

PostPosted: Friday 12-26-2008 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW!! that's great!!! Thumbs Up
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Steve
Cilantro King


Joined: 26 Oct 2007
Posts: 414
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: Friday 12-26-2008 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul:

Very well documented ~ Thumbs Up

Heaven knows you spared NO expense to have a clean setting and so your
image of your mother not coming to the feed seems her loss for sure.

After seeing your production ~ a thought comes to mind of how much per
pound do you figure your guests consumed in pork. After the costs of the oven
and stock holdings in aluminum were factored in.

Canadians are great in my book, and this whole effort shows the hospitality
that one can expect from those living to the North of the USA.
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p1roger



Joined: 05 Dec 2007
Posts: 434
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Saturday 12-27-2008 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul, that is awesome, thanks for sharing it with us. Clapping
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DG TX



Joined: 21 Dec 2007
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Location: Central Texas

PostPosted: Sunday 12-28-2008 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great piece of work there Paul Thumbs Up Thumbs Up Thumbs Up You done Good!
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Joanne
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Joined: 11 Dec 2006
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Location: Las Vegas, NV

PostPosted: Sunday 12-28-2008 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul, that's just amazing! Thumbs Up Thumbs Up

A lot of work, but an amazing end result. I've been to a pig roast before but it was done on a spit and without the great spices and marinade. It was good but I'll bet it couldn't hold a candle to the one you did. Wow.

Thanks so much for posting this thread. After seeing this pictorial anyone should be able to successfully roast a pig. Great job on the pig and the explanation.

Did I mention that your assistant is cute as a button?

Joanne
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jeeper



Joined: 23 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Monday 12-29-2008 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice;y done !

The smells that would have been comming from that for the 4 hours cooking time would have been worth all the effort bby themselves :Smile 1:


Nice Marrinade recipe !


Bruce
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Joanne
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PostPosted: Monday 12-29-2008 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've made this a sticky 'cause this is too good of information to be lost in the regular threads!

Joanne
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Paul



Joined: 25 May 2008
Posts: 1556
Location: St Thomas, Ontario, CANADA

PostPosted: Tuesday 12-30-2008 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joanne wrote:
I've made this a sticky 'cause this is too good of information to be lost in the regular threads!

Joanne



Thanks Joanne... I'm honored! Cheers!Beer
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Dutch Oven Cook



Joined: 09 Apr 2009
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Location: Jacksonville, Florida, USA

PostPosted: Saturday 5-16-2009 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[Joanne"]I've made this a sticky 'cause this is too good of information to be lost in the regular threads!]

Thanks Paul,

That much pork would fill all my grills, smoker and big DO's. I'll have to buy some cinder blocks and rebar. I want to try it that way. Great job, man!

DOC
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Paul



Joined: 25 May 2008
Posts: 1556
Location: St Thomas, Ontario, CANADA

PostPosted: Monday 5-18-2009 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks DOC! It's definitely A LOT of fun!
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killswitch505



Joined: 01 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Sunday 1-9-2011 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

justmike wrote:
WOW!! that's great!!! Thumbs Up


+1 i really have to try something like this some time
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Bud-wie-ser



Joined: 02 Feb 2011
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Location: Utah

PostPosted: Wednesday 2-2-2011 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A pig roast can be a lot of fun (and a lot of work).
Last summer I was inspired by my wifes old family pictures so I decided to go the above ground route (PuertoRican style on a rotisserie).

We picked up a 111-lb pig and roasted it for about 9 hrs. This pic was about 5 hours into the cook.


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