Pit Roast Pig
1 ready source of firewood
1 lrg pile of fresh seaweed, freshly mowed hay, or pine boughs
1 lrg box of tin foil
1 lrg burlap bag
1 roll of chicken wire
1 roll of bailing wire
2 pairs of pliers
1 wire, cutter
1 good fireproof shovel
For the pig
6 lrg onion
6 lrg carrot
2 heads peeled garlic
The day before you intend to cook the pig dig the pit. It should be three feet wide, six feet long and three feet deep. Neatly pile the dirt you remove from the hole next to it, you will need it again.
Gather enough firewood into two large piles. Each pile should be large enough to completely fill the pit with a bit left over.
The morning of service build a roaring fire in the pit with one pile of wood. It should completely fill the hole. Next to the hole build another roaring fire with the second pile of wood. Let the two fires burn down to a solid bed of fiery hot live coals, as soon as they reach that stage proceed. Depending on the wind and the wood this will take one to two hours.
As the fire burns ready the pig.
For the pig:With a boning knife cut off the forward shanks from the shoulder. Cut into the hip joint of the rear legs and fold them forward into the belly of the carcass, stuff the front shanks into the forward part of the cavity. Add the vegetables and herbs to the cavity. Sew the cavity shut with the bailing wire by weaving it back and forth through each side of the belly flap; tighten it as you go. This step is not unlike tying your shoes...
Insert the apple in the pig's mouth. Wrap the entire pig in many thick layers of tin foil then completely and tightly enclose it with the chicken wire and bailing wire. The foil keeps out the ashes of the fire while the chicken wire keeps the pig intact once its cooked. Fashion a handle from some of the bailing wire that will make it easier for you to move the pig. The pig will cook upside down so have the wire handle oriented to facilitate that.
When the two beds of coals are ready proceed. Cover the bed in the hole with about four to six inches of seaweed, hay or pine boughs. They will insulate the pig from the direct heat of the coals. Place the pig on top of the insulation. It should be upside down. Cover with another layer of the insulation making sure the handle sticks up. Shovel all the coals from the second fire onto the insulation. Cover the works completely with much but not all of the dirt from the pile. It should be mounded over the pit when done.
Wait eight hours. Read, go for a walk, be thankful that you don't have to do this every time you want some prime rib!
Carefully dig up the pig. When you reach the handle be careful that your shovel doesn't poke the pig. Carefully lift it out of the hole and place on a picnic table or similar surface. Brush off the dirt and ashes, you may find it useful to use a couple of well-placed blasts from a garden hose. With a surgeons patience cut the chicken wire loose and carefully fold back the foil exposing the pig without allowing any ashes or dirt to get into the works.
This pit roasting method is common to indigenous cultures all over the world. It makes use of common materials and in essence duplicates the winning conditions of a modern oven cavity. It's a bit of effort but it really works and will certainly have your guests talking for years to come. This method works equally well for pig and lamb; I actually prefer the lamb. This outline doesn't replace common sense: use your best judgment and in eight hours you'll be digging up dinner!
Timing hints: You will need several days of planning and material gathering to get ready for the big day. Once the pit is covered up you will have to wait eight hours before digging out your dinner.
Serves a crowd