Just saw a request for pit style cooking and thought I would share this cook for this summer. This was a fun one. My nephew graduated from University of Texas this summer and s=we all celebrated at our annual beach trip together. He knows I'm game for anything so he said he wanted to bury a pig.....oh boy. So I dug in and researched and finally settled on Rick Bayless' "Pig in a Pit" technique. I did 2 large shoulders instead of a whole pig for logistical reasons (and i was mor comfortable knowing how the shoulders would behave).
So here we go:
1st: Dig you a hole in the ground:
2nd: Line that pit with bricks (it really helps not to be in the middle of a 3 day vodka bender and to have some spatial skills)
Light a fire and make sure you choose a good spot with a nice view that you can hang by the pit and drink all day (best to chose the spot before digging but this is the way the pics set up)
Next, get a roaring fire going to heat the bricks. I did this and then burned and entire 40 lb bag of mesquite lump too. It was HOT. You are trying to heat the bricks here so the fire was 8 hrs or more of just high heat burning.
While this is going on, I prepared the cochinita:
I used the Achiote marinated from Rick Bayless (i'll post at the end) and marinated the shoulders overnight
We then lined a pan with banana leaves from my bro-in-laws tree and set the shoulders in
Wrapped them all up in more leaves and tied them securely
OK- back at the pit we have a 10-12 hour fire and a nuclear bed of coals. You set the pan directly on the coals and you want to hear boiling and sizziling almost immediately (you want it that hot- you'll see why in a second)
Immediately after placing the meat in, you cover with a sheet of tin and cover that in sand (we are completely hammered at this point and are a menace to society and ourselves-the pictures take a dramatic turn for the weird and have a "Lord of the Flies" quality about them as the night drags on
OK.....so 4-5 hours pass, the drinking continued unabated. Time to take a peek:
And that is where the trail goes dark. We were all starving and way over served so we golf carted the meat back to the house and destroyed it (essentially by hand, just grabbing bits as we could find room). The women were less than impressed by the show but the food was good.
So that's the way you cook in a pit :
Tons of fun but a lot of work for essentially a braised shoulder. Not much smoke so you could do this just about anywhere and get the same results. But I've never posted pics of a roast coming out of my oven!