Pig Roasting Around the World
~Chef Perry Perkins~
Long before the introduction of plates and knives and forks, the Celts of the pre-Roman UK were enjoying roasted whole boar with their fingers.
Modern Brits are still famous for their pig roasts (though they mostly use silverware), and for the unique and flavorful marinades they use, containing apple cider vinegar and Worcestershire Sauce along with local spices.
The British have regarded hog roasts as staples of their festivities, parties and celebrations, most often cooked on a spit or in a large oven.
In contrast to or usual La Caja China preparation, the pig's skin is scored with a (very) sharp knife before roasting, and brined in a marinade.
In the ancient times of the Saxons, roasting a whole wild boar was the centerpiece of a meal at Yuletide.
British Roast Pig
1 (45- to 50-pound) dressed pig
1 gallon apple cider - preferably unfiltered, cold
12 cups hot water
2 cup packed brown sugar
8 tsp dried rubbed sage 4 tsp ground cinnamon
8 tsp Herbes de Provence*
2 large oranges, peeled
4 cups Worcestershire Sauce
2 cup sea salt
12 Tbs coarsely ground black pepper
4 lemons, peeled
2 large red onions, peeled
*A mix of herbs native to the south of France such as rosemary, thyme, lavender, fennel, sage, etc.
1 cup crumbled bay leaves
In a large pot, bring the water to a simmer, and take off the heat.
Combine the cinnamon, sage, pepper, salt, sugar with the water, and stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Dice the lemons, oranges and onions into small chunks and add to the mixture.
Add the cold cider, and allow the marinade to come to room temp.
Score the skin in long rows (you'll need a really sharp knife, or a scalpel), lengthwise, down the length of the pig, about an inch apart.
Place the pig in a large container (a marine cooler works for me) pour in the marinade, top with a couple of blocks of ice (still in the bag) and let marinate overnight.
You can also inject the marinade (strain it first) with a meat syringe to get the flavor deeper into the meat.
Before roasting, drain and dry the pig with paper towels, and let it come to room temp.
Lastly, brush your pig with olive oil, and rub, inside and out, with bay leaves.
Place 3 large disposable steam pans under the bottom rack in your La Caja China, to catch the juices.
Serve with boiled potatoes, drizzled with strained pan juices.
As a third-generation chef, Perry P. Perkins focuses his love of cooking on barbeque, traditional southern fare, and fresh Northwest cuisine.
Perry runs the non-profit organization, MY KITCHEN Outreach Program, which teaches nutrition, shopping, and hands on cooking classes for at risk youth.
His cookbooks include La Caja China Cooking, La Caja China World, La Caja China Party, and the NEW “La Caja China Grill.”
You can follow the rest of Chef Perry’s cooking adventures at ChefPerryPerkins.com