Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hog Heaven

Saturday I was invited to a party at the home of my friends Scott and Heather (Gild the Voodoolily) Anderson. The occasion was Scott's 32nd birthday. Usually birthday parties mean cake and ice cream or maybe a grill session with hot dogs and hamburgers on the menu. This group decided to pull out all the stops and go "whole hog" in their party preparation. Heather, Scott, Joe (Scott's brother) and a small army of family and friends put together a foodie spectacular that can only be described as a pig pickin (brings a whole new meaning to this phrase), butt kickin, beer drinkin, Cuban style pig roast.
-This seems innocent enough-
The cooking utensils for this event included: a shovel, pliers, screwdrivers,concrete blocks, rebar, welded wire mesh, a silicone mitt, welding gloves (but no safety goggles ) and about 70 lbs. (I think this is the same amount of charcoal they would use to smelt iron) of Cowboy Charcoal (hardwood charcoal). Forget shopping at Williams-Sonoma, for this meal a trip to Home Depot was all you needed.
Heather told me that they had to get a little medieval with the cooking equipment since they didn't have any welding equipment laying around
(Note to Scott: maybe for your anniversary)

This is the gaze of a mother looking down at her child in the crib
The unveiling of the pig (these cracklings were like the best pork flavored potato chips you will ever eat)
-Cutting up a fat hog-
What I failed to show was that after Joe took off one one of the ham's and one of the shoulder's a group of us gathered around this pit like clan of Neanderthals and proceeded to pick and pull ribs, shoulder meat, neck meat, bacon meat (ummm, bacon) and eat with our bare hands. For my money the impromptu appetizer of a piece of pork cracklin topped with bacon meat (Imagine slow roasting a full side of bacon for 8 hours and you get the picture) was about a decadent as it gets. Note: If you take heart medication you might want to skip my appetizer suggestion.
This is the best part (hint: cheek meat)
Scott Anderson-Birthday Boy
Shinichi & Son (Sage)
This party actually was celebration of two birthdays. Scott and his friend Shinichi. Apparently Shinichi actually get the credit for the roasted pig idea. Last year at his birthday they had cooked a whole goat and made goat curry. For this year Shinichi had decided that he wanted a pig roast. The only drawback to this plan was that Shinichi's landlord had a small problem with him digging a 3' wide, 6' long, 3' deep pit in the back yard ( awww, c'mon...we never get to do anything fun). Anyway, since Scott's birthday piggybacked Shinichi's the two decided to have the pig roast at the Anderson's.

I have only know Heather and Scott for a short time, but I can tell you that in the kitchen, Heather drives with the pedal to the metal. It wasn't enough to have a mere pig roast. While this was a "Cuban style" pig roast, the menu included:


Pulled Pork Carolina-style Sandwiches (buns, vinegar sauce and slaw)

Carnitas tacos (hot sauce, cilantro, minced onion and tortillas),

Banh mi station with some julienned jalapeno and cilantro, with homemade do chua (carrot & daikon)

Brick pressed Cuban Style Pork Sandwiches
(we all ate so much pork off of the grate over the pit that we never got this far into the menu)

Baked Beans
Cole Slaw
Pasta Salad
Pickles (Heather's Quickles-she needs to patent these)

Homemade Ice Cream
(Note: this is a fruit that Andrew Zimmem of Bizarre Foods on the Discovery Channel has had a problem choking down-what a wuss)
These kids threw a hellava party and my brief description is from an outsiders point of view. Check out Gild the Voodoolily for the insiders point of view. This was an absolute ton of work to pull together. I was a very lucky boy to have been included on the guest list.
Heather gives a big two "Thumbs up"


Heather said...

Gah, I'm still tired. It was so fun having you over! How could I forget to mention the durian - it smelled like rotten scrambled eggs and tasted only marginally better.

Heather said...

Oh, also, it was closer to 70 pounds of coal (each bag is nearly 9 pounds).

Norm Schoen said...

Did you read the wikipedia description? I definitely got the well sauteed onions with almond. I actually tried this twice (not sure if I was curious or merely drunk).
Yesterday was kinda rough......and I had a wine tasting event that I went later on Sunday.

Foodycat said...

Wow! I thought Heather's description was good, but you are making me drool. Why did I think a little bit of toast and fruit was breakfast? I want PIG! Fantastic hearing about it from another point of view.

Salt & Turmeric said...

i dont eat pork but i sure do love durian. that durian looked like it had been hacked! lol.

btw, i agree tht adrew z is a big wuss! not worthy of the name of his show. :P