Pig Roast – Part One “The Pig”

(Bonus post from Keith, also read Sylvie’s post for our Busy Weekend)

So far as manly man food goes, a pig roast has to be close to the top. To round out the event, let’s make it a pig roast for a volunteer fire company in rural Virginia. Yeah.

It had been years since anyone could recall a pig roast for the company; Robbie – a sheriff’s deputy and volunteer – and I were talking about the lamb roast Sylvie and I did in July when we made the decision. Chief Ann gave the go ahead and the prep work began.

Getting a good pig was a challenge. Changes in the population (fewer traditional farmers), grain prices this year, and demand in the cities for locally raised meat have made getting ‘quality’ pigs harder. Lots of the volunteers remembered things from their youth – either raising pigs or having relatives who did. Some talked of doing it again, but their long commutes to ‘real jobs’ and sky high grain prices may have made this self sufficient source of meat a thing of the past.

I met a pig farmer from one county over who embraced the USDA’s ‘get big or get out’ policies. They are doing a good business working between the ‘old ways’ and factory farming supplying hole pigs to pitmasters through the mid-Atlantic. I think their operation is a big improvement over the monstrosities out there, but I don’t know that their pigs ever see the sunshine.

Our go-to supplier was Belle Meade who supplied a beautiful pig at a generous price. I don’t know if Belle Meade’s model can feed the world, but I do think it can make the world a better place. Buying from someone like Belle Meade is, unfortunately, a luxury for most people, but I like to put my money where my mouth is.

We’re already planning for next year. If all goes as I hope, the company will be eating our own pig, raised by one of our numbers and financed by the rest.

Note from Sylvie: the pig must be scalded. The fatty skin will keep the meet moist and tender while roasting. It is discarded after cooking – unless you want to break it in pieces to flavor beans – or you want to spoil your dog.

Continuing: Pig Roast – Part Two “The Delivery”

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