Monday, March 15, 2010

The Other White Meat

- or -
Lola, we hardly knew ya...

So I'm part of the PRICCS. (No surprise, eh?)
(PRICCS - Pig Roasting In Caja China Society)

Y'all know I love to cook...
This works out well since I also like to eat.
And since I also like to experiment with non-traditional cooking methods
(Deep Fried Turkey, Masters Cordon Bleu, Elemental Chicken, Pulled Cork, Kreeper, etc)
when I started to see articles and stories about this new method for cooking
whole roasted pig, well, I had to see what it would take to procure a La Caja China.

Since the acquisition of a Caja China is a little on the steep side, we formed a little consortium to split the cost and custody of a La Caja China #2.

In theory, if you follow the directions you can't screw it up... and they make it difficult to lose the directions, since they are printed on the box itself.

We got it a couple months back, and while I was up in Vancouver one of the co-conspirators was able to assemble the box and prepare it for use.
In theory he was also going to go out and shoot a wild hog for us to christen The Box, but, alas, that didn't happen.

We have all been itching to try out The Box, but travel schedules had put everything on hold up until now- and this looked like the last weekend the entire Society would be together for a long while, so we ditched the plan for the feral pig and I found a new guest of honor out in Green Cove Springs...
On Friday afternoon Co-Conspirator #2 and Yours Truly spent an hour or so preparing Lola for her date with the Caja China.
CC#2 whipped up an amazing Mojo marinade (heavy on the garlic, citrus and spices) which we massaged into the meat... I would also make reference to injecting the meat with "secret sauce" but no doubt this would be misconstrued by you pervs.
We left her in the cooler overnight, immersed in Liquid Love (tm).

Saturday Lola made her appearance at the home of Co-Conspirator #1,
a/k/a The Scene of The Crime.

The PRICCS Roasting Box...

Ready for action.

Caja China #2
50lbs Charcoal
Welders Gloves
Ash-Management Tools (Bucket & Shovel)
Mojo-Marinated Piglet

Off we go...

Co-Conspirator #2 extracting Lola from the cooler.

Why Lola?

Don't ask me. We knew we needed to name her; I was all for Petunia, but Bingalls (CC#1'S son) came up with it...

Putting Lola to the rack...

Once the victim Guest of Honor is on the rack, she gets one last hit of citrus & spices, and into the cooking chamber she goes...

Ready to put the lid on and apply the heat.

16lbs of charcoal on the lid...

...and Jingalls starts the fire.

As soon as the coals are ready...

...we spread out the coals in a uniform layer across the top and start the countdown.

An hour later, 10 more pounds of charcoal.

An hour after that, 10 more pounds, then 30 minutes later another 12 lbs.

This is the hardest part...
Once you start the coals, the instructions are very explicit about NOT opening the box... From several accounts I have read on the Intarw3bz, people have ruined their shindigs by playing peek-a-boo with the pig... I was able to suppress the urge, but it took Herculean strength of will and a good 12 ounces of rum...

So at 3 hours 30 minutes it's time to turn the swine.

CC#2 & CC#1 flip Lola into position for the next phase...

Once flipped, you have to score the skin; Here are the guys cutting X's into the skin. Once done, another 30 minutes of cook time then checking the skin for crispness every 10 or 15 minutes.

End results...

She could have used another 30 minutes, but we had a Ravenous Horde on hand, so it was time to start throwing meat at them before things got too ugly...

We gave her 15 minutes to cool down then started to serve the meat...

Photo-documentation ended abruptly at this point, since my hands were too greasy to handle the camera any more...

The meat was a-f%$@#&ing-mazing- the marinade made it a tart savory Lechon Asado, served up with baked beans, ceviche, a couple different kinds of slaw, and buns for sandwich fixins.

The Verdict- Awesome. On Steroids.

Next up: Turkey? Chickens? Ribs?



T-Rav said...

I should've skipped the 15K.

Luc said...

Man, I haven't salivated this much since I saw Jamie Lee Curtis do that striptease scene in True Lies.

The Mighty Skunk said...

That looks really, really good. Out here we have a Hawai'ian tradition called "Kalua Pig" which is somewhat along the same lines, but making it The Hawai'ian Way requires (among other things) a front-end loader (or at least a Bobcat mini-dozer with a front bucket attachment) and a large section of chain-link fence.

I am not making this up. Kalua Pig represents Hawai'ian ingenuity at its finest.

A banana tree and a palm tree also come in handy to make Kalua Pig the traditional way, but those are so common around here you can usually just grab what you need from the neighbor's yard.

Given your local zoning laws in Jax, Caja China is no doubt the closest you will get to Hawai'ian Kalua Pig, and I'm sure it tastes just as good.