A hog roast is the perfect BBQ meal for a large family get together, if you don’t want too much work to do and you want to make sure there is more than enough food to go around then give it some serious consideration. It may sound like a lot of work but it is a big tradition here in England and especially where I am based in York. Sometimes if we can’t be bothered with the hassle (and there is a lot of hassle!) of cooking a huge hog on the BBQ and having to rotate the spit every few minutes we’ll simply ring up and hire a hog roast, this consists of a person coming along with a BBQ and the hog, he then cooks and serves the whole thing for you. For the purposes of this article though we’ll presume that you want to do it yourself and I’ll give you some tips on how to go about it!
Setting the BBQ up
In order to roast a hog you’ll need a large BBQ, a hog is around 4 feet long which means you can either do it in the style our ancestors would have done it in, in terms of basically building a fire on the floor from your coals and firelighters or you can do it the proper way which involves some construction. You build a brick wall for the desired size, say around 5ft by 2ft and 3ft high then buy a large metal tray or trays that fit over it to hold the coal. Once you have set the coals up inside it and are ready to light move on to the next stage. The next stage is to put 2 wooden poles up that go around a foot above the fire that will hold the spit. The butchers when you buy the hog from will generally give it to you with the spit already through it and the innards taken out, fully prepared for roasting.
Preparing and cooking the hog
In York we tend to eat our roast hog with apple sauce and stuff the hog with sage and onion stuffing. The stuffing is absolutely delicious and is highly recommended, make it yourself, it isn’t difficult to do and there are lots of recipes online before stuffing it in the hogs stomach and cooking it allowing the juices from the hog to infuse into the stuffing. Once you have got to this stage the hog is ready to be cooked. On average a hog takes around 6 hours to cook but this depends on factors such as the ambient temperature, wind, humidity etc…These all affect cooking time. You need to be turning it on the spit every 10-15 minutes and baste it with plenty of fat and lard throughout the cooking process! It sounds disgusting but makes the hog so succulent.
Serving the hog
Now the best bit, you get to try it! Traditionally in England we eat the hog with either salad or new potatoes with butter and parsley depending on preference and the time of the year. You can have vegetables, bread, and coleslaw, whatever you want with it, it goes great with most things. Serve it with a big dollop of Apple sauce and some of the sage and onion stuffing and you will be hooked on hog for life!
Sarah Hewitt is a new blogger who blogs about anything and everything. You can contact her via her Twitter page or Google+
Roast Pig image by Joel Abroad