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LECHON ASAO a la vara
(Roasted Piggy)
One 25 lb suckling pig, ready to cook
30 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tbsp whole dried oregano
1 tbsp peppercorns (Whole black peppers)
3/4 cup salt (or to your taste... careful here!

CRUSH the above four ingredients in a big pilón.
1 cup sour orange juice

Please, make sure you get a slaughtered pig already... do not slay the porcine in front of the kids or spouse... You can get a piggy in most wholesale meat warehouses.

Mix thoroughly the garlic, oregano, peppercorns, salt and jugo de naranja agria.

Make deep gashes in pig on the neck, just under the lower jaw, on the loin, legs, shoulders, and over the ribs. Rub seasoning into the gashes, as well as inside and outside the pig. Cover with cheesecloth and set overnight in a cool place. Pa' que escabeche, tu sa'e!

Barbecue the pig the traditional way, by passing a pole through its body. A slit is cut just under the tail and the pole goes through it and out the mouth opening. Tie the front legs very tightly anround the pole with aluminum nails and stainless steel or aluminum wire. Do the same with the hind legs, stretching them as far as possible.

Place the pig over an open fire of hot charcoal, plenty of charcoal, placed over layers of stone, resting both ends of the pole on Y-posts. Rotate pole slowly and constantly in order to roast piggy evenly, and baste frequently with Achiote (see below).

Cook about 7 to 8 hours, or until meat is well-done... I mean well done... when all the pink color disappears and the meat becomes grayish and the skin is toasty brown and crispy. I mean toasty and crispy!

Cut into serving pieces and serve with mojo and guineitos.

Take a half cup of annatto seeds (achiote) and mix with one cup of Extra Virgin OLIVE OIL in a frying pan. HEAT OIL at medium flame until OIL becomes RED and seeds darken. Heat well, but DON’T LET OIL BURN. Strain out darkened seeds and discard. Now you have a cup of red oil to baste the piggy. You can use the traditional basting tool: a CHICKEN feather recently plucked!


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