Pig Roasting Around the World
~Chef Perry Perkins~
There's a deep, longstanding, and almost reverential relationship between Germans and their pigs. Per capita Germans eat around 87 pounds of pork, per year.
Domesticated pigs appeared in central Europe (including Germany and Austria) around the same time they did in China, around 10000 BC.
In fact, pig is so beloved in Germany, that they symbolize good luck, and wishes for good fortune. The commonly used term “Schweineglück”, goes all the way back to the Middle Ages, the a pig was often given as a consolation prize, to the loser of a competition. (I don’t know about you, but THAT, would make me happy to throw a fight or two!)
Traditionally, a German roasted whole hog is called Spanferkel. This recipe is my own hybrid between that, and my favorite recipe for the famous German pork roast.
Roast pork is a popular Sunday meal in Central Europe. In Germany, Schweinebraten is most often served with braised cabbage or sauerkraut, dumplings and a good pilsner.
80-100 lb pig, cleaned and butterflied
½ cup Salt
1 cup oil
8 Carrots, roughly chopped
1 cup Flour
¼ cup Caraway seeds
4 Tbs Pepper
8 Onions, roughly chopped
8 cups dark beer
1 cup Butter
Rub the meat-side of the pig all over with the caraway, salt, pepper and oil and marinate for at least an hour, preferably overnight. Before roasting let the meat come to room temperature by removing from the cooler 2-3 hours before you put it in the box.
Mix together the onions and carrots and place in the bottom of La Caja China, in disposable steam pans. Divide the beer evenly between the pans.
Remove the pig to a cutting table, cover it lightly with foil and let it rest for about 45 minutes while you make the gravy.
Knead the flour and butter together with your fingers to make a doughy paste and set aside in a large bowl.
Strain the pan juices from the roasting pans (save the vegetables if you like to serve with the roast).
Add enough water, stock, wine or beer to the pan juices to make a gallon of liquid. Bring this to a simmer in a large pot, over medium heat.
Whisk small pieces of the butter-flour paste into the pan juices until the gravy is thickened to your liking. Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Finish the gravy with a little butter, cream or sour cream if you like.
Serve the pig, sliced, with the gravy.
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