The Pig Roast: early morning


The day of our big pig roast.  Meet Rudolf (named in honor of Rudolf Steiner, the father of Biodynamics, if you want to know), a ninety-pound dressed pig who was the be the center of attention on this day. 


And here’s David with his five o’clock shadow–five in the morning, in this case.


After wrestling for a while with Rudolf, David decided he needed help after all, and so Sam stepped in. 


Well, two still wasn’t enough.  (I didn’t count, I was holding the camera, you see?)  Cynthia had to come out and help too. 


This was a three-man, oh, wait, two-guys-and-a-lady job, getting that Rudolf up and in properly in the roasting cage. 


Now the fire was about ready, burning down to embers.


Not quite content with just burning wood, David gathered up some
dried-up fennels from the herb garden and tossed them into the fire for
extra flavor and aroma.


By 8 o’clock, the piggy was well on its way spinning atop the fire.  There’s no flavoring yet on the piggy, only strategically placed bits of heavy-duty foil to prevent burnt spots.


Here’s an impromptu brush, made from athering long stems of rosemary into a big bunch.  This will be used to brush a mixture of good butter and olive oil on the skin.

This was early in the day, the guests wouldn’t arrive for hours yet..

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  • SimonC

    Ah, you professionals with your fancy-dan proper equipment. One New Year’s Eve morning my friend Will turned up with a pig, 100 bricks and a scaffolding pole, insisting that not only could we roast this thing in our yard (all 4m by 4m of it), but we could also motorise the whole affair using a bike gearset and an 1500rpm AC motor. We only managed to talk him down from the latter idea when it was pointed out we only had enough gearing to slow the pig down to about 120rpm, at which velocity burning fat would be sprayed on everyone within 10 feet.
    Can’t wait to see how it’s done properly, anyway; the cage looks much more practical than spending half a morning trying to insert a scaffolding pole in a pig. Doesn’t it mean you can’t carve as it cooks, though? Our pig was done on the outside waaay before the inside, so we had to carve off servings as they became ready. Was this a mistake?

  • oakley

    Pim, can you please overnight me some of the pork skin? I’ll pay!

  • Hilary

    Pim — Looks good. I was thinking of doing a caja china pig roast for an office party. Do you have any recs for a good place to buy a pig? I’m on the Peninsula (Palo Alto).

  • Nate

    What a way to start a day!
    I can hear the embers crackling and smell that delicious smoke from here.

  • Katie B

    Girl, that looks fantastic.

  • Dana McCauley

    Very impressive! I bet you had a sensational dinner by the time Rudolph’s nose was shining red and bright from the heat. Are you sure he wasn’t named for that Rudolph, too.

  • learn chinese

    that looks fantastic.

  • Sharon

    Wow, thanks for sharing!
    And very cute to name him! =)

  • Erin

    Perfect porcine pleasure.

  • Kim

    My dad in charge of the pig roasts when he was a volunteer fireman in the 50′s. Thanks for sharing how to do this, as I was too young to remember.

  • wandernut

    Oh my.
    It’s good to know that Babe here died smiling. :)
    Lovely roast. I could almost smell it.

  • wandernut

    oops just realised his name is rudolph… hahahaha

  • Erinn@SundayDish

    Pretty little piggie, I bet he tasted good! And the rosemary brush, brilliant.

  • bb

    There is no better reason to get up early than working for the happiness of others via a perfectly crispy skinned spit roasted pork. So-o-o good….I can almost taste the cracklings!!

  • Ivana

    Girl. If someone told me that what I considered was savage brutal horror Serbian custom would be so popular in my new life in America…I definitely would not have believed them. I now admittedly do see the value in slow roasting while drinking schliwowitz, be it for wedding, funeral, or just another communist holiday…

  • Selba

    Poor Rudolf, although he must be tasted delicious… :)

  • monique

    In the Philippines, Rudolf would’ve been skewered into a long bamboo pole and then roasted. Yum yum.

  • veron

    I always love pig roasts….crackly skin…yum!

  • Julian Meteor

    They should cook ALL foreigners this way

  • Julian Meteor

    They should cook ALL foreigners this way

  • foodrambler

    Hi Pim,
    I’m loving your blog and piggy story. Last month my friends ran a festival called the Antic Banquet where we had a rather piggy adventure. Two pigs (Rum & Ginger!) were trussed up on bamboo poles, with glass bottles firmly tied inside to allow them to cook from the inside too. They were then place over an enormous fire pit, and turned and basted for several hours… But then the poles burnt through at about 5am and there was a big panic, as we were meant to be serving a banquet for 400 that afternoon. So the pigs were hauled into an old ambulance-come-mobile-cinema and carted off to a local farmer with a very big oven who didn’t mind being woken up in the early hours… But it all turned out good in the end – have a look!
    I’d be really happy if you could give me any feedback on my food blog.
    Abi xx

  • Christine

    Oh boy !!!! This morning I awakened to the smell of bacon … unfortunately, not in my apartment … and can only imagine how wonderful Rudolf must’ve smelled (and tasted)

  • Daniel Gray

    The pig looks like that pig from that movie…Babe. Awesome shots. And it must have tasted herbacious.

  • My Simple Food

    Ahhhhh! Roast piggy. Yum yum!!!

  • Aladin

    Very cruel !
    Someday someone eat you like that -maybe…
    Love all around malgré toi !

  • Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener

    Must be the season for pig roast.
    We did ours back in September on the only week-end when the temperature was above 90!
    Next year, we’ll be wiser and do in October like you.
    It was incredible. And the left over were turned into pulled BBQ pork, pork sandwiches, pork stir-fries, pork fajitas, pork shepherd pies.
    I definitively recommend it to anybody who has access to a pastured pig.
    I take it you liked it, Pim?

  • Tiffany Pendant

    Oops, re-reading that it sounded a little critical, I was more wondering what I did wrong, how I can make it better. Any suggestions?