12 November, 2018
A hog roast or pig roast is an event or gathering (mostly outdoors) that involves barbecuing a whole pig or hog. The cooking or roasting process is done slowly, at a low temperature for an extended time of between five to twelve hours. The result is tender and delicious pork you can eat.
The words ‘hog roast’ always have everyone excited in the UK. Probably it’s the thrill of perfectly cooked, outdoor food or the irresistible smell of fresh pork roasted on a spit that has everyone consumed with anticipation.
Whatever the reason, it’s certain that having a hog roast is a great way to make your outdoor party memorable event.
Hog Roast Traditions
The hog roast is a tradition that goes back hundreds of years and across different cultures.
• The Philippines refer to the hog roast as ‘Lechon baboy’ and it is prepared on special occasions like Christmas celebrations, birthday parties, reunions, and weddings.
• The Chinese refer to hog roast as ‘siu yuk’ and it is eaten during significant occasions like business openings, and family affairs. The Chinese also prepare hog roast as a ritualistic, spiritual offering to repel evil and pray for success.
• In the UK, a hog roast is an important part of almost every event. It is prepared for birthday parties, weddings, outdoor get together, carnivals, and County shows.
Cooking a pig roast is not as complicated as some might expect. The summary of the process involves roasting and stuffing a fresh pig. Below is the procedure for cooking a pig.
Hog Roast Cooking
• Buy a dressed pig from the butcher and ensure that the organs have been removed before taking it home. Note that the bigger the pig, the more time it would require to cook. People who cater small events usually go for a suckling pig which is much smaller.
• The next step is to wash or clean the pig. Check for small hairs on the skin and scrape them off with a sharp knife. Rinse the pig down with enough water and rub it down with a small amount of salt.
• You can season the pig further with pepper, turmeric, paprika, seasoned salt or stuff it with a mixture of pork sausage. Some caterers also inject apple juice to the muscles to give more taste. Whichever way, after this step, prepare the pig for roasting. Use a knife or sharp object to score the pig, so the heat can move through the skin and muscles evenly.
• Secure the pig on a spit roast, oil it and leave to roast at a low temperature for about 5 – 12 hours. Either side should have a roast time of 4-6 hours.
• After long hours of mouthwatering anticipation, the hog roast is ready and can be served plain or with any side dish of your choice.
Hog roasting techniques across cultures
The popularity and significance of a hog roast to different cultures are reflected in the diverse ways it is prepared.
• In the Philippines, the pig is placed on a bamboo spit rotisserie and roasted over hot coals.
• In Hawaii, the pig is roasted in a large pit dug in the ground and lined with banana leaves. Heated lava rocks are placed in the pit to cook the meat.
• In Puerto Rico, the pig is prepared with a wet seasoning containing black pepper, salt, olive oil, and wine vinegar.