Going Big With the Pig


A little while ago I asked my Uncle G. the secret to roasting an animal on a spit. Not to be outdone, my brother, MC, in a last ditch effort to be father of the year, decided to roast a pig for his daughter’s first birthday. Of course, there’s no way any sane mother is letting her kid near a burning pig on a spit that has been put together by a bunch of ne’er do wells with a lot of beer and a flimsy plan. So, little MC missed the best part of the pig roast but had a kickin time, nonetheless.


Unlike Uncle G., MC did not go to his local Whole Foods for the pig carcass but made a trek out to a farm outside of Hagerstown. His advice: Don’t go to Hagerstown at rush hour. Plus, a bonus for you ESers: do not go to the bathroom at the place where they butcher the pigs. Trust us, don’t do it.


Once again, you are going to need a few things before you get started. We did not actually need to procure any of these things because we had The Serb. He is MC’s friend for whom roasting large animals is a passion. He had the van, tools, and know-how to make the whole thing happen. You can certainly roast a pig without The Serb. I just don’t recommend it.

Here is the list:

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Talking With Our Mouths Full: Introducing the ES Podcast



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Long-time readers know the ES crew won’t be satisfied until we control the entire food media world, and on that note, today’s a big day in the annals of Endless Simmer history, as this post officially goes where no ES post has gone before: the world of sound. That’s right — in addition to learning what we eat every night through our words and photos, you can now get all up in our heads and actually hear what’s going on inside these hungry, hungry minds.

On Talking With Our Mouths Full: The Endless Simmer Podcast, we’ll bring you food stories from around the globe, interview some of your favorite food personalities, and share our every edible thought, all via the magical medium of Internet radio. Given the time of year, today’s debut episode is all about — what else? — turkey! Those of you looking to mix it up a bit this Thanksgiving are in luck, as four of our favorite food personalities have graciously taken the time to tell us about a few alternative ways you can cook that big bird this year. Hit the play button above and take a listen!

Featured Guests in this Episode:

Fabio Viviani, the fan favorite from season five of Top Chef, is also the star of the upcoming Food Network series Fabio: A Catered Affair, the chef at brand new LA eatery Firenze Osteria, and a roving ambassador for Santa Margherita wines. Somehow, he found the time to talk to us about turkey.

Elizabeth Karmel is widely recognized as one of America’s foremost BBQ and grilling experts. The executive chef at New York’s Hill Country Barbecue and Market (an Al Roker favorite!), Elizabeth is also the founder of GirlsAtTheGrill.com, where, among other goodies, you’ll find a mean recipe for grilled turkey.

Mike Bober (a.k.a. JoeHoya) along with his wife Elizabeth, writes the Washington, D.C. food blog Capital Spice. When he’s not busy smoking out his entire neighborhood, he drops enough knowledge around ES to earn himself a place in the Endless Eater Hall of Fame.

Clint Cantwell is a member of award-winning competition barbecue and grilling team Smoke In Da Eye. If you’re gonna try frying up your bird this year, please, please read Clint’s Ten Tips to a Perfect (and Safe) Deep-Fried Turkey.

After you’ve listened to the turkey talk podcast above, be sure to share your own turkey cooking tips in the comments below, and cast your vote:


Talking With Our Mouths Full is produced by Adam Pogoff of Boutique Radio. For all your podcasting and audio production needs, visit Boutique Radio on the web.

Feed Us Back: Comments of the Week


– If you were impressed by LC’s lamb roast, you’ll want to hear from Shannon, who writes in to one-up her:

Your lamb on a spit post reminded me of this photo.  We’ll be trying to roast our own gator on a homemade contraption this weekend for the Florida/LSU game. FYI, you can buy gator from farms down here. They mostly raise them for the skins, so the meat is really cheap. A four foot gator runs $30-$40.

HOT DAMN. All ES readers should feel free to keep writing in with any new roast-animals-on-a-stick discoveries.

– Fine, so no one agrees with my high-minded call for better bread at Jewish delis. Adam says the sub-par bread is the whole point:

I would agree that the bread at delis like Katz’s is sub-par, but I think the reasoning is because it’s meant to be as unobtrusive as possible. With other sandwiches, the bread is important. When it’s surrounding a pound of pastrami, it’s job is to make the pastrami go into my mouth, while slightly lowering the amount of grease and mustard I get on myself.

And Mike B will have none of it:

Pastrami on *toast*? A baguette? An everything bagel?! I’m… I’m speechless….

But Karen from French’s Mustard writes in with a novel idea I can’t believe I hadn’t previously considered:

Next time you go into a Jewish deli (I do loves me some Katz’s), demand they put it on a nice, thick and toasted piece of challah.  They’ll charge you more, wayyy more, but I promise it’ll revolutionize your sandwich.  And as far as where to put your mustard?  I have an idea for that too…but, you have to make your own first.

Challah-pastrami, that’s it! I am on board. It will probably cost $30 at 2nd Ave, though.

So we don’t often post PR requests here, but since Karen wrapped hers up with a sweet ‘strami suggestion, we’ll make an exception. Go and enter French’s homemade mustard contest and win some big $$$! Deets after the jump…

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Mary Had a Little Lamb. Roast.

If you look closely you can see a fan in the upper left hand corner. Placed there deliberately, it was wafting lamby scents through out the neighborhood.

It’s officially Fall and getting chilly.  I know some families make hamburgers and hot dogs to celebrate the end of summer. We, on the other hand, put a lamb on a spit and roast the shit out of it then invite neighbors and co-workers over to get completely inappropriate, courtesy of my uncle G.  In keeping with ES’ other end-of-summer post, I think this might count as food on a stick but more…I don’t know…pornographic?

I’m sure you have a lot of questions: where do you even buy a whole lamb? How long do you have to cook it for? How do you cook it? What parts of it do you eat? What parts are the best? What does it taste like? I The actual chef will reveal the secrets of the lamb after the jump…

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Throw Everything on the Grill

grilled pickles

When you’ve finished cooking your brats and squash and the coals are still hot, throw on a few dill pickles.

I know, weird.

But the pickle works well with the warmth and the flavors are both enhanced and subtle.

It’s easy labor on this day of rest.

Top 10 Food Finds at the Iowa State Fair

Iowa State Fair

This Sunday marked the conclusion of the 157th annual Iowa State Fair, known to downscale gourmands far and wide as the annual pinnacle of American eating. From cupcakes to astronauts, if it exists, you can bet the folks at the Iowa State Fair can grow it to an obscene size, deep-fry it and eat it off a stick, or of course, sculpt it out of butter.

10. The Butter Cow


A classic. Look at the detailed carving in that butter udder. Masterful work.

9. Frozen S’more on a Stick

frozen s'more on a stick

Mmmm…a new era for desserts on a stick. Genius.

8. Giant Gourds


Anyone else think there’s something really creepy about this photo?

7. Rodent Cake


Another creepy one! Who wants a rodent on top of their cake? And this was a blue ribbon winner! What did the losing cakes look like??

6. Mystery Cake


Oh right. This is what the losing cakes looked like. Can anyone even begin to explain what is going on here??? Are those jalapenos? Chocolate covered hot dogs? Deep fried garbage?

Next: Top 5 Food Finds at the Iowa State Fair

Cheflebrity Smörgåsbord: Do You Take Out Your Meat?


First up, a quick, semi-selfish cooking question:  Despite having watched a lot of food shows and read a lot of cookbooks, I haven’t found a definitive answer to the question that I encounter during quite a few meals.  Namely:  Should you take your meat out of the refrigerator before cooking to raise the temperature?

I’m not talking about a pork shoulder…I know you need to bring that up a bit or it will never cook evenly.  I’m thinking about cuts like pork chops, beef and even chicken, where you want to get the meat to reach the right internal temperature during cooking just as you achieve outer-browning Nirvana.

And so I turn to you, dear readers.  Is there a hard and fast rule that can be used here?  What will work without sending me to the emergency room in a cold sweat?

The smörg is always the right temperature.

–  We just can’t get enough Fabio!  Last year, he couldn’t find a taker for his proposal, so he self-published a cookbook. Now ALL the ladies (and publishers) love them some Fabio.

– This year’s Great American Dine Out will feature Food Network’s Aaron McCargo as a spokesman.  Cool: You eat out and money goes to Share Our Strength.  As if you needed another excuse to go out and stuff your face.

After the jump…a look at Virtual Susie Fogelson, a lawsuit that can’t possibly be frivolous and a fantastic new accomplishment for the Smörgåsbord.

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