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Submit your recipes   Other recipes

Pit Roasted  Hog 

Island style 

This recipe is a favorite amongst people of the tropical Islands of both the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean. Almost any reason is a good reason for this as it often the main course at wedding and arrivals and departures.


1 whole Hog (pig) Dressed
30-40 Banana Leaves - large green with as few splits as possible
2 Papaya - firm but almost ripe
2 hands of green banana
12 Plantains (Large cooking bananas)
8 Breadfruit
12 Yams (similar to sweet potatoes)
2 Chopped Garlic bulbs
1/2 cup of salt
Pepper, and  cilantro if preferred. 
A stretcher  made out of green poles (non toxic variety)

Time to prepare: 2 people - 4 hours
Time to cook: Depending on the size of the hog and the amount of coals usually   16  - 20 hours.

Wash  the hog carcass thoroughly with fresh water. Take extra care in the intestinal cavity.

Dig a fire pit about 4 feet longer than the pig is and 3  feet wide and 24 inches deep. Light a large bonfire in the pit and boil 10 - 15 gallons of water. Pour the water slowly over the pig's skin, (exercise extreme care) Use a large knife to scrape the hair off of the pig, but leave the skin intact. (alternate method is to roll an undressed the pig through the fire and burn the hair off rather than scalding, then scrape and dress out) Keep the fire going all the while you are preparing the hog. Use large pieces of wood to create a nice bed of coals.

Peel and cut up the bread kind (Jamaican  speak  or Caymanian for vegetables) into large pieces.

Lay in 2 green poles 2 feet longer than the pig, with smaller cross poles lashed to them, similar to a small ladder, on top of the some banana leaves. This stretcher will enable you to lift the hog both before and after it is cooked. Place several leaves 3 deep across the entire stretcher. Lay the hog on it's back across these banana leaves. Rub the salt and garlic and any other seasoning you may want to use, all over, inside and out. Stuff all the vegetables in the cavity. Be sure to place some of each type all through the hog's cavity to ensure that the flavors will be throughout.

Stitch the cavity shut with 16 penny nails (plain nails - not galvanized or varnished)  to help hold in the vegetables. Wrap the leaves around the hog tightly. You can lay the pig anyhow you want, but on it's back or side is best so all the flavor doesn't run out. By now the fire should have burned down and there should be a nice layer of hot coals in the bottom of the pit. Cover the coals with several layers of green banana leaves. Set the stretcher holding the pig on top of the banana leaf covered coals. Then place additional leaves over the pig and cover with dirt leaving only a small hole at each end for air. Go to sleep, for tomorrow it will be feast time. Don't bother opening it up to check on it, just wait for your guests to arrive, then using care and some gloves lift out the hog and feast.

Just a note. Pig must be thoroughly cooked before eating. Because of the smoke  and cooking process some of the meat may have a pinkish tinge to it. This does not necessarily mean that it is not cooked. Press a fork against the flesh and if the juices have no blood in it then it is cooked. Generally a pit roasted hog will actually be cooked well before it is removed and will just be simmering and getting tender for the last last few hours. Enjoy  

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