As promised, here's this year's follow-up to our family's traditional Christmas Eve whole pig roast.
When Ms. Piggy got home on the 23rd, my father came over to the house and we started to prepare it for the next day's roasting.
Here, my father removes the pig's tongue.
In this pic, my father systematically cuts the ribs.
This is what it looks like after he outlines the rib cage.
Here, he makes cuts between each individual rib.
This is Ms. Piggy, all cut up and ready for the next step.
In this pic, my father goes around the whole pig and makes deep "pocket" cuts in key areas.
Here, my father places pieces of butter into each of these pockets.
After the butter, he liberally pours salt into each pocket.
The next step is to create a fresh batch of his marinade or "mojo". Do NOT buy the pre-made ones at the store or you'll be cheating yourself on flavor!
This is the marinade paste before the addition of the final ingredient - freshly squeezed sour oranges.
This is what the marinade looks like when done. At this point, it has an aroma that literally fills the whole house! It smells SOOOOOO GOOOOOD!!!
At this point, my father begins to brush every exposed interior part with the marinade.
Now, the entire pig gets a marinade injection. Just as when the cutting steps are being performed, a lot of care is taken to make sure that the injector's needle doesn't poke through the pig's skin. The skin should remain as intact as possible during the entire process.
Whatever is left over inside the marinade bowl gets applied liberally to the key parts of the pig. Here, my father is concentrating on the ribs.
This is what Ms. Piggy looks like after her marinade bath.
The next day (Christmas Eve), the charcoal is lit and the roasting box ("Caja China") is preheated.
Then, the marinated pig is brought out and tied tightly between the separator trays.
Here, my father (on the left) and my uncle (on the right) remove the heavy steel cover so that they can finally place the pig inside the roasting box. From the looks of it, the steel cover is very heavy and my uncle got a hernia!
Here, they place the pig inside the roasting box while my father-in-law (far right) looks on.
Ms. Piggy is finally in the roasting box!
This is one of the interim checks.
...and here's another check.
After the pig is done and pulled out of the roasting box, the skin is pulled off, chopped and thrown into a tray so that the family members can devour it immediately. The crispy skin or "chicharron" is one of my favorite parts.
Finally, the rest of the pig is chopped up and pulled apart. It is all placed on a serving tray and each family member serves themselves whatever parts they want and however much they like! The side items are all located on another table. They are usually brought in by the different families that attend our yearly gathering. At this point, THE FEAST HAS OFFICIALLY BEGUN!
Enjoy the pics and thank you for looking!
Edited by Luv2Q - 1/12/12 at 5:49pm