I was living la vida Gidget in a surfing town in Puerto Rico the first time I took part in a pig roast. There on the Rincon beach, a local dude dug a trough in the sand and cooked a pig in the covered pit. There was rum. And cerveza. And a roar from the crowd that drowned out the crashing waves when — 10 hours after its burial — el puerco was devoured on the spot.
So begins my latest Taste column, in which I tell the tale of a neighborhood pig roast. The one where, in a backyard bacchanal disguised as a birthday party, I join forces with family and friends to procure, brine, roast and eat a whole pig. Read the story here. And if you’ve ever wondered what it takes to pull-off a neighborhood pig roast, I’ve got the step-by-step visuals.
One 66-pound pig, brined overnight in an icy citrus bath. (photo/Nancy Leson)
Leslie, the birthday girl, wields the right (garden) tool for the job. (photo/Nancy Leson)
Mac loads the pig into la caja. (photo/Nancy Leson)
While prepping the charcoal, an old screen door came in handy for keeping flies at bay. (photo/Nancy Leson)
The first batch of charcoal, ready to roll — so to speak. (photo/Nancy Leson)
High-tech, low-tech: note the remote thermometer at left. (photo/Nancy Leson)
Ted (left) and Mac, on the job. Careful with those bare toes, guys! (photo/Nancy Leson)
Turn first. Score! Then back in the box for further roasting. (photo/Nancy Leson)
The birthday girl — and her canine pal, Booker — posing with the porker in their backyard. (photo/Nancy Leson)
Pulling out the pig. (photo/Vickie Kurtz)
Mac, center, dressed appropriately in his “Praise the Lard” t-shirt, removes the rack. Come and get it! (photo/Nancy Leson)
Pork aplenty. (Jordan Stead/Seattle Times)
Pork stock makings, also known as leftovers. (photo/Nancy Leson)
Late that night: Empty of all but its embers, la caja makes a fine patio firepit. (photo/Nancy Leson)