our*hands were tied a bit with respect to the pig because my mother-in-law (who was*providing and therefore the*boss of the pig)*didn't want to "experiment" (igor, bring*the pig's head to the operating table,*muhahaha !!!).*the pig had been cut into three pieces (head and shoulders, middle, and butt) by the butcher. it totaled about 55 pounds.
the pig was pre-cooked in*a couple of regular ovens and finished in the*pizza oven. my wife's section was the rear end (about 15 pounds). she cut the hooves off at the knee joint, seasoned with salt and pepper and studded it with plenty of garlic. it was then cooked in a 325 F oven tightly covered with foil for about 3 hours.*it was finished, with the other pieces, uncovered, in a somewhat cool (walls were about 450 F )*pizza oven for 30 minutes in order to*crisp the skin. my mother-in-law forced me to take the head out before it was done. the head needs more time due to the ratio of bone to flesh.*
overall, it was very moist and tender but a bit bland for my taste.*
what we will do next time:
1. buy our own pig ... we since have learned from our neighbor that there is a pig farm about 30 miles south were you can "pick a pig".
2. herb up the pig more extensively with things like rosemary and sage and then baste the pig with soy or teriyaki while cooking it.*
3. i'm going to lobby extensively to do more of the pig cooking in the pizza oven but i am only the sous-chef in my home.
i'm going to do a leg of lamb (that i am the boss of) on thursday. i'll report back on that...
That was my wife's attitude towards the turkey on Thanksgiving until
she tasted it (my backup bird) and has now decided that no turkey will
be cooked inside anymore. She decided the same about the prime rib but
that's because she doesn't like what she calls the "smell of fat
cooking in the oven".
I'm planning on doing a pig in the spring. My buddy wants to bring a
suckling pig over that we can put whole in the oven. He's providing
the piglet because I'm helping him build his oven in the spring.
Another acquaintence (husband of a friend of my wife's) says to do
just the butt as he thinks there's too much trouble & waste with the
rest of the pig. He does them a couple of times a year in his backyard
smoker. He wants to do a pig cook-off in return for my help on his
oven. (First though I have to mortar the arch bricks and stucco the
exterior of my own oven so I can mark it "finished"....but that will
have to wait for warmer weather.)
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