Greek Style Whole Hog with Greek Isle HerbsSteven Raichlen
Greek Style Whole Hog with Greek Isle Herbs
- Yield: Serves 12 to 16
- Method: Spit-roasting/rotisserie
- Equipment: Trussing needle and butchers string; large rotisserie
For the oregano rub:
- 3 tablespoons coarse sea salt
- 3 tablespoons crumbled dried Greek oregano
- 2 tablespoons coarsely ground or cracked black peppercorns
- 1 small pig (25 to 30 pounds), feet removed
- 1 lemon, halved, seeds removed, plus 4 lemons cut into wedges for serving
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil for basting
- Oregano Bread
Step 1: Make the rub. Place the salt, oregano, and pepper in a small bowl and mix well with your fingers.
Step 2: Generously season the cavity of the pig with the oregano rub. (You’ll need about half the rub.) Place the lemon halves and bay leaves in the cavity and sew it up tight.
Step 3: Place the olive oil in a bowl and mix in 2 tablespoons rub. You’ll use this mixture for basting. Reserve the remaining rub for seasoning the meat at the end.
Step 4: Skewer the pig on the rotisserie spit, securing it tightly with prongs.
Step 5: Set up your grill for spit-roasting. Rake the coals into two larger mounds, one at the shoulders and one at the ham. Rake the coals into a thinner layer in the center.
Step 6: Spit-roast the hog until the skin is crackling crisp and a gorgeous dark golden brown and the meat is cooked through the internal temperature will be about 190 degrees in the deepest part of the thigh. Start basting the hog with the olive oil after 1 hour and baste every half hour. Add charcoal as necessary, but cook slowly and steadily. Total cooking time will be about 3-1/2 hours.
Step 7: Transfer the pig to a large cutting board, unskewer, and let rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, grill the oregano bread.
Step 8: Using a cleaver, chop the hog into 2 inch chunks. Season the meat with a little remaining rub. Make sure each serving includes both meat and skin. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing (if desired) and grilled oregano bread on the side.