Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"Pig Pickin"

What is a pig pickin? A pig pickin is a party with the pig being the most popular guest. A pig pickin is the roasting of a whole hog that is around one year old. This pig will be cooked on a fire until it is falling off the bone tender. During cooking the pig will be basted with a typical mop sauce. The pig is put over the fire meat side down and will typically be flipped one time during cooking. Usually the invited guests will help with cooking the pig and preparing the sides making the pig pickin a very socially interactive event. Once done the guests will pick the meat off the pig, hence the name pig pickin. The meat is usually served with coleslaw and baked beans. The pig pickin is very popular at church gatherings,family reunions, tailgate parties at college football games and of course is deeply rooted in politics. A pig pickin has been used to draw people to more than one campaign rally.

So the next time you are planning an event and want it to be a big hit why not go with the good old fashioned pig pickin. Your guest will be talking about your party for months.

Here is a mopping sauce recipe from Al Carson of Raliegh, North Carolina

Secret Sauce

1 gallon apple cider vinegar
1 (28-ounce) bottle ketchup
2 3/4 cups firmly-packed brown sugar
1/4 cup garlic powder
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

In a large stainless-steel pot over medium-high heat, combine all the ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until crushed red pepper sinks. Remove from heat.

It should be bottled hot, not boiling. Just hot enough that the bottles are hard to hold for more than a few seconds. Fill bottles within 1/2 inch of the top. By bottling hot, it will seal itself. Does not need refrigeration until after opening and then only to protect flavor.

NOTE: The sauce does not seem to have a problem with spoilage. I have used unopened bottles a year later and they have been very good. The sauce does get hotter with age.

If you like the sauce even hotter, add 1/4 cup of Tabasco before cooking.


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