It was an epic and detailed journey to dinner for chef and entrée at the pig-picking I attended to this weekend.
I quizzed the chef closely about the gorgeous mahogany hunk of sizzling passion--you can see the two hot pepper pods resting on the thigh, the kind of extra touch that made it worth every gram of saturated fat. Here is how he explained his path to porcine perfection.
1) Buy hickory scraps at a handle factory in West Tennessee. Burn them to make your own charcoal.
2) Haul the smoker that your daddy made onto a piece of country property.
3) Visit C&S meats in College Grove, probably the only federally inspected, HACCP-compliant butcher around that sells dressed hogs.
4) Realize AFTER you leave the butcher that they didn't split the backbone so the pig won't lie flat on a grill grate.
5) Get reciprocating saw.
6) And headlamp.
7) Regret last two bourbons; shut right eye to compensate.
8) Saw very carefully.
9) Hope self and compatriots don't fall asleep, leaving 135 pounds of meat to incinerate.
10) Remember how much trouble it is to smoke a pig and vow not to do it again.
11) Revel in ecstatic compliments. Enjoy watching refined people snatch bits of crisp skin from the grate. See rare sight: ladies licking fingers.
12) Decide it was probably worth it. Not soon. But some time.
13) Hire 16-year-old to clean out smoker.
14) Take massive nap.
For the record, points 12 and 14 are just a guess.