There’s no better way to celebrate the season finale for Game of Thrones than by roasting a whole hog. It’s manly. It’s barbaric. Most importantly, it’s really, really delicious.
My butcher shop sold me the smallest suckling pig that they had in the freezer. At 15 lbs, I wasn’t sure if it was going to be enough meat to feed 5 people, let alone the 10-12 I was expecting for the show.
I spent a fair amount of time on Google pulling in tips and tricks on how to cook the beast. The starting move was about 20 hours in a brine.
- 15 quarts water
- Two 26 oz Morton Salt Containers
- 4.5 cups sugar
I soaked the pig for twenty hours, turning once. For a container, I ended up triple bagging it in garbage bags in my giant tailgate cooler, with a couple of bags of ice on top to keep things from spoiling.
On Sunday afternoon, it was time to do the fun stuff. After patting the piggy dry with paper towels, I decided to stuff his interior with onions and garlic. This is where creativity comes into play (you can use herbs, dry rub the interior, etc.), though I chose simplicity for my first time around.
Some people will throw chickens, stuffing, sausage, and all sorts of other goodies into the chest cavity. Being a rookie (without a needle and thread to sew it closed), I didn’t feel much like gambling and limited myself to simple aromatics that I had on hand.
Into the oven at 250 my pretty. I felt very similar to the witch in Hansel and Gretel, tossing a small child into my oven for dinner. Maybe she was actually on to something…a protein heavy diet and a house of candy? We’ll touch back on that later.
After about 4.5 hours, the meat was reading 165 in the back leg. I cranked the oven up to 475 and gave him a nice little spong bath with oil every 20 minutes or so. This really helped to fry up the skin and bring about the nice, golden color that everyone loves so much.
The final product turned out great. I appear to have toed the line with the brine. The meat was salty, but didn’t cross the line. The piggy was served with a southern corn casserole and various salads to keep things healthy. A simple vinegar based sauce added a touch of outside flavor and really brought the meal together.
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp cayenne
- .5 tsp salt
- .5 tsp pepper