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First off, I can’t take credit for this cook/party but was thrilled be there from start to finish and be a wingman on the mission. I think my job was to offer up my pearls of wisdom (more like wise cracks), drink beer and shoot some pics. Nice gig! I have been looking forward to this as it was the first Pig Roast in my buddy’s new Caja China. It was a great party and everyone had a blast. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
I was not there for the box assembly but heard it took a few hours the night prior (and the first keg was tapped so not sure the normal time required). The pig was picked up and dressed and marinated in classic Cuban Mojo. The morning of the roast it was brought to room temp. Below is the swine ready to go to his new coffin.
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The pig was secured into the rack and place in the Caja China. Pretty simple with 4 “S” hooks holding two frames between the pig. Fire started and the cook was underway. The process is pretty straight forward and requires coals to be raked frequently and an hourly dump of ashes and extra coals being added.
BTW- Tons of credit to my friend Dan and his wife Kathy. Check out the T-Shits pretty cool. Getting the party started.
A quick diversion from the cook. Big kudos on the beer choices and I found my new favorite “Magic Hat #9”. Wow good stuff. Anyway the four torpedo’s ready for action.
So, back to the swine. After 4ish hours the pig was almost done and flipped over to crisp up the skin. Looking pretty good at this point. Should point out that one of the hoof’s/legs fell off and we pulled out of the box to taste test….and was really good. Interesting how different each part tasted and the hoof had a lot of roasting and browning and the meat was surprisingly good.
Almost done and checking the skin for the perfect crispiness. By this time we had a good crowd gathered and everyone was ready to eat. Don’t spill the magic hat!
Finally, the done deal before we carved him up. Almost looks like he’s smiling. The head fell off when we took him out. Anyway, I had the opportunity to taste the various cuts. The ham/but was as expected really-awesome, the shoulder just fell apart and was the bulk served for shredded sandwiches, the back was excellent and had crispy skin on it too, the hog jowl was good and was similar to the hoof…and the best piece (to me) was the ribs. I think the way this cooks upside down allows the marinade to really set in the rib area.
Sorry for getting off topic and for the record there was a Big Green EGG on duty and it served up the hot dogs for the little ones. The Caja China is a nice pig party toy. The meat is excellent and there is something unique on the ability to make it very crispy and yet extremely moist meat. Good party, good friends and some great eats. Life is good!