This year’s annual hog roast was held on an unseasonably sunny but chilly November day in Calderdale.
This is our third hog roast and we do seem to be building a fair amount of knowledge around the minutae of roasting a full pig in the open air. It’s a complex job: the temperature has to be taken in to account: too cold and it dramatically affects the cooking time, the wind and its direction can affect the heat from the fire – it’s fraught with difficulties.
The fire was lit at 6am and the pig started off at 7am. Then follows an all day cook with the pig ready to eat at around 7pm. Careful monitoring is required and constant turning is critical unless you want a pig that’s half cooked.
And then there’s the careful handling of the crackling – the ideal scenario is beautifully cooked pork on the inside and fabulously crispy crackling on the outer. I think we pretty much manage to do a good job here and this year we constructed a makeshift foil jacket for our porker to shield the thin back pork from the intense heat that’s needed to finish the pork off.
This year’s beast was a big one – 56 kilos to be precise and this brought its own challenges. That’s a lot of pork to cook through right to the middle and we’ve discovered that meat thermometers are pretty useless in this situation. It’s all about intuition and it’s a lot easier than you think when you spend an entire day cooking a pig. That and a few strategically placed skewers to see if the juice is running clear.
There’s a fair amount of pressure if 90 folk are rocking up a for a few roast pork sandwiches but the Troffers team were up to the task thankfully and we’re already planning next year with our cooking rig refurbishment (Rig 2.1) and plans to cook goat, lamb or even beef. Watch this space.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say that we know what we’re doing, but we’re certainly getting there!
We decided a few weeks ago that we would attempt another hog roast in the summer months, so last night we held a planning meeting where we could work out who’s doing what in terms of logistics, ensuring we have even division of labour and crucially, how many bread buns we will need.
Hosted by D&G, we spent a remarkably dry evening in the garden and the food came couryesy of Pat, Tony and Tess who called at Aagrah on their way back from the Bradford City friendly. A word on the indian takeaway – superb. It was absolutely head and shoulders above the average takeaway – they have really got their act together at the new place on the Leeds/Bradford border. The chilli king pawn balti was to die for (thanks to G for the recommendation) and the lamb chops sublime (I could have eaten a dozen of them). Everyone else made happy noises so all was good.
On to the business of the evening and ably chaired by G, we managed to sort out all the practicalities for next Saturday’s roast and miss the nightly exodus of 82 bats from D&G’s belfry. We’re hoping they’ll do the honours next weekend.
We’re looking into the technical possibility of having a live webcam for the hog roast next weekend, so watch this space!
It’s taken some time to pull together, but here’s all the photographs from the hog roast spectacular in one place. Lets hope the technology does the trick!
Have a right good skeg here… http://www.flickr.com/photos/24504966@N00/
Pig slaughtered, pluck set aside for chef’s perk on Sunday.
Pole and pins delivered to Jonathan’s.
Plates etc sorted by John.
Lights, and practical stuff organised by Dawn and Tess today (carving table too)
80% of roasting rig in the back of Gurdev’s car.
Going around tonight to review high quality craftsmanship.
Apple sauce done (by Tess)
Julie on the lookout for season pudding recipe.
Four score and ten breadcakes ordered.
It’s coming together…
Just 4 days to go to the very first Globe Troffers hog roast. Following Hugh’s instructions faithfully we hope to deliver a beautifully roasted 40 kilo porker!
With almost military precision, the event is coming together. Gurdev is on the case with the ‘apparatus’, the pig is ordered and will be slaughtered on Thursday to our ‘sleeping dog’ specification and all the logs have been split with the help of John and his impressive log device.
It’s going to be all systems go in the next few days – watch this space!