Cochon de Lait

Recipe courtesy David Wm. Reed
Show: Man Fire Food Episode: Cajun Cookouts
TOTAL TIME: 20 hr
Prep: 2 hr
Inactive Prep: 12 hr
Cook: 6 hr
 
YIELD: 80 to 100 servings
LEVEL: Difficult

ingredients

CAJUN SEASONING MIX:
  • 5 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried sweet basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 ounce flavor enhancer, such as Accent, optional
  • 1 pound 10 ounces table salt
INJECTING MARINADE:
  • 6 ounces liquid crab oil
  • One 60- to 80-pound young pig, skin on
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Directions

For the seasoning: Combine the cayenne, black pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, thyme and flavor enhancer, if using, in a blender. Stir in the salt.

For the marinade: Combine 6 tablespoons of the Cajun seasoning mix with the liquid garlic, liquid onion, Worcestershire and crab oil.

For the pig: Partially split the backbone of the rib cage from the body cavity side and spread the pig flat. Inject the pig with 8 cups of the marinade. Coat all surfaces with a good amount of the Cajun seasoning mix. Allow the pig to marinate in a cooler or on ice at least overnight.

Lay the pig flat out on a layer of wire mesh and attach the legs to the corners using wire. Sandwich the pig with the layer of wire mesh and using carabineer clips secure the upper and lower grills together.

Start the fire in the back of the shed. Let the fire burn until you have good coals to keep the logs burning. Hang the pig on the hook and start the rotisserie.

If your shed does not have doors, keep enough wood on the fire so it is hot enough that you can stand or hold your hand by the pig for only 5 or 10 seconds. If the shed has doors, with the doors closed build enough fire to achieve 300 degrees F at the top of the door, 250 degrees F at the middle of the door and 200 degrees F at the bottom of the door. When the middle drops below 200 degrees F, add wood to the fire. Try to maintain a cooking temperature between 200 to 300 degrees F at the pig.

Start the pig closer to the fire and at a higher temperature of about 300 to 350 degrees F for the first couple hours. Flip the pig and hang it from the other side every couple of hours so the pig will cook evenly. It is always much hotter at the top compared to the bottom of the shed.

Once the internal temperature of the shoulders and hams starts hitting 130 to 140 degrees F and the fat starts rendering, start tapering off on the fire and move the pig further away from the fire to let the pig slow roast at a temperature in the low 200s.

Continue roasting until the internal temperature of the hams are 150 degrees F and the shoulders are about 170 degrees F. Carve and serve.

Notes

This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens have not tested it for home use and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results or safety.
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