A pig roast or hog roast is an event or gathering which involves the barbecuing of whole hog (the castrated male pig or boar, bred for consumption at about 12 months old). Pig roasts in the mainland American Deep South are often referred to as a pig pickin’, although roasts are also a common occurrence in Cuba as well as the non-mainland US state of Hawaii (a luau), with roasts being done in the mainland states by descendants of other areas.
The tradition of the pig roast goes back centuries, and possibly longer. There are many ways to roast pork, including open fire rotisserie style roasting, and “caja china” style box grilling. Many families traditionally have a pig roast for Thanksgiving or Christmas. In Miami and other areas with large Cuban, Puerto Rican, or other Caribbean populations pig roasts are often held on Christmas Eve by families and friends whereas families from Hawaii often hold a roast on memorial day.
- juice of 20 limes, strained
- juice of 8 oranges, strained
- 4 large heads garlic
- 1 cup minced fresh oregano leaves
- 3 tablespoons ground cumin
- 4 cups roughly chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 tablespoon parsley leaves
- 5 tablespoons salt
- 1 whole suckling pig (12 to 15 pounds), split and washed
Place pig, belly down, into a large deep roasting pan. Thoroughly rub pig with marinade. Place in refrigerator overnight, basting occasionally.
Preheat oven to 275 °F. Pour off excess marinade from pan.
Cover pig’s ears, snout and tail with aluminum foil.
Prop mouth open with 1½ inch ball of foil. Place in oven and cook for about 4½ hours (20 minutes per pound) or until internal temperature reads 160 °F.
Baste with marinade every 30 minutes. If pig starts to get too dark while cooking, cover with aluminum foil.