Would You Like Swine With Dinner?

The pig mission began on Wednesday.  Four of us headed to Epps Farm in Calvert, early, very early.  We had to pick up a live 90 lb heritage pig, and have it at the processor in Westphalia, no later than 10:30 am.  After processing, it chilled until Friday, when I picked it up to spend the night in a huge cooler, in our bathtub, and covered with ice.  On Saturday, we roasted it!  I cooked a lot of seasonal veggies to go with it.

Saturday was overcast, and not horribly hot, so it was perfect.  Don and Paul started the pig prep about 9:30 that morning.  This time, I prepared an injection solution made of  Kathy’s jalapeno jelly, mixed with water and Himalayan sea salt.  We learned later what a good decision that was.  Don and Paul coated the meat and skin with seasoning after the injections.  And to make it even better, they laid strips of pork belly on the open side of the pig, before sandwiching it in the grates.

Epps Pig Roast 1
Preparing pig for roasting

Epps Pig Roast 2

Epps Pig Roast 3
Pig in roaster
Epps Pig Roast 4
Belly of pig, when roasted
Epps Pig Roast 6
Pig turned skin-side up, and scored with a knife in cross-hatch fashion
Epps Pig Roast 7
Pig done roasting
Epps Pig Roast 8
Removing meat from roasted pig

 We had a lot of guest involvement at the roast, and I’m pretty sure everyone had a great time.  It certainly went much better than the first roast, and we learn a lot every time.  This time I learned that not all processors will scrape pigs, and you really want the skin on, to get the best flavor.  After I found a processor that’s not too far away, that does scrape, I learned they could only handle a pig that was over 80 lbs, or the machinery would tear it up.  If I wanted a smaller pig, I would have to take it several hours away.  That wouldn’t be bad if you only had to make one trip, but it’s not a “process while you wait” operation.  And after all that, I can say that it was well worth all the trouble.  It was delicious, and I told Don it would be great to plan a couple roasts a year.  He’s hesitantly on board, so far!