1 – gallon mojo (see below)
1 – 1lb fine sea-salt
2 – 18 bags of charcoal (exactly.)
Oh, and you can find this, and many more, step-by-step recipes in my cookbooks, La Caja China Cooking, La Caja China World, and La Caja China Party, as well.
So, here’s Ms. Piggy…picked her up at Owijamaya in Beaverton, $200.00, probably could have found her cheaper, but this was a store I trusted and the pig was ready to exactly my specifications.
Note: Always warn your wife, in advance, that she’s going to find a big dead animal in her bathtub…
My partner in crime, Chef Chris, seasons Ms. Piggy with some fine-grain sea salt. That smoker you see behind his is loaded to the gills with Chris’s world-famous briskets.
We’d injected the pig with my mojo (recipe below) the day before and, to get a little extra “pit” flavor, I’m brushing her with Stubb’s Mesquite Liquid Smoke. I know this will make some purists scream, but until I can figure out the rippin’-frippin’ smoke pistol, it was the best I could do. (And…it tasted awesome.) UPDATE: Skip the liquid smoke and get yourself an A-MAZE-N Smoker! Simple to use, awesome results! See our video here.
Got the two piles of coals started. Another thing I love about the ‘China…if I’m just cooking internally, and not using the exterior grills, I can fire up whatever stinky, nasty, “quick-lighting” brand of coals I want, as the flavor won’t touch the meat. Still, make sure your work area is upwind…that stuff reeks!
Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.
So, a couple of hundred hands of poker later…(about 3.5 hours) the lid came off and it was time to see what was making that wonderful smell.
Per instructions, we flipped her over (very easy) and scored the skin with a sharp knife.
Another quick brush of smoke. (That bullet-smoker chuggin’ away behind me is loaded with beer-can chickens. Dane used a Thai marinate in the birds and in the cans.)
After 15 minutes, skin-side up, we took a peek, but Ms. Piggy wasn’t quite as crispy as I wanted, so we closed the lid of another 5. Perfect. Set the lid at 45d and let the pig set for almost an hour…it was still too hot to touch bare-handed.
Ain’t she purty?
Now, I’ve cooked a LOT of pork-shoulders over the years, but I’ve never tasted any pork that compared to this. It was sweet and juicy, and the crispy skin was out of the world!
This was the first pig I’ve done, and I have to say it was so much easier than I thought. If you can read the instructions printed on the box, you can roast a whole pig.
Happy to answer any question!
~ Chef Perry
½ cup minced garlic (the wet stuff.)
¼ cup fine sea salt
1/8 cup black pepper, fine ground
2 Tbs dried Oregano
2 quarts orange juice
1 quart lemon juice
1 quart pineapple juice
Mix all. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or longer.
Set aside 4 cups of mojo for later use.
Inject pig immediately, and refrigerate 24 hours.
Add 1 cup of Stubb’s mesquite liquid smoke to reserved mojo and use to baste pig before lighting the coals, just before turning, and again after turning.