How to do a hog roast when there is no space for a Hog on a spit or in a pit ...

Many who read this blog, may not not be aware that my wife and I are both foodies and enjoy entertaining. So much so, that it has influenced our offspring, as our son is a chef, working with an up and coming team.

Anyhow - quick and easy hog roast for the ordinary person - where many of us in the UK lack the barbeque experience and probably resources to put a whole Pig on a spit.

Equipment needed:

  • Sharp long bladed knife - the best for the job is a pastry/carving knife plus a ordinary kitchen fork.
  • Oven
  • Barbecue (gas powered is better, as you need the temperature control)
  • Water, bowl and basting brush

Stage Zero - invite people and set a date
You will need to know how many are coming and make best guess on quantity accordingly.
Stage one - source your meat
Pork belly is the best, if you have a local butcher, which is always far better than a supermarket - wander in and impress them by ordering a significant quantity of large pork bellies. Each should be around the size of a sheet of A3 paper. 
If your butcher is any good (which many are), they will be happy to score your bellies and remove the ribs. Make sure you keep the ribs as these will make another meal for your family. 
Supermarkets tend to pre-cut the bellies and present them in small portions - sadly here size is everything. You need that volume to work well for large numbers of guests at that all important Hog Roast.
Stage two - precook before event
On the day, cook your pork on a low temperature. For example if you are doing a PM event, make sure you cook AM. Put your bellies on trays, and cook at 100-120 degrees for around three hours. The low temperature is important.  
A standard 60cm oven could fit six sizeable bellies. Remove bellies, allow to cool, cover in foil.
Stage three - at the event
When guests arrive, you will have in mind a time you wish to start cooking. Power up the gas barbecue around fifteen minutes in advance. Now you need to operate as a team of two chefs - one will cook the other cuts the meat.
Get the barbecue hot, best idea is to start it at full gas on all burners. Then when you add the meat drop it to half power. You know your barbecue best, adjustments may be needed. Baste skin side of bellies with water (water plus brush) and then slap on barbecue. 
Flip belly over regularly. keep basting with water. Once it is sizzling and the skin crispy - give to the other chef with knife and put the next belly on. 
Now you are working as a team - as the chef with knife thinly slices the belly (with long bladed knife and fork) and your guests start eating your lovely piggy delight. You are cooking the next belly. Each belly takes ten minutes. Depending on the size of your barbecue and number of guests you could easily cook more than one at a time.
Everyone should get plenty of meat, crackling and much more. Its hot and ready and easy to present. Serve with apple sauce, barbecue sauce, bread rolls and other treats. Now the party should get started.

Glorious Pork Belly


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