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If you are a keen hog roaster or just want to find out a bit more about how these fantastic machinescame to be, we have taken a look back through history at how hog roast ovens originated across the world to become what we know them as today.
Early man didn't turn to cooking a hog roast to impress their wedding guests, that’s for sure, but what they did know was that cooked meat was better for them and tasted great to boot! They developed ways to lift their juicy pig up off the flame and cook it nice and slowly. It’s at this point that the concept of skewering was created. Obviously, there were no metal skewers at the time, so wood or bone would have been used instead.
This brings us into Bronze and Iron Ages, here we had a great surge in craftsmen working to fashion whatever they could from precious metals and one of the most prevalent areas in which innovation occurred was the kitchen. In what was almost an overnight success, pans, pots, knives and all kinds of utensils were brought to the fore – revolutionising cooking.
The Middle Ages
Next came the Middle Ages and at this point It would have been more unusual to see a kitchen without a form of spit roast than with one. It was in these kitchens that people would have roasted an entire hog, skewered on a heavy iron bar over an open fire. In the more luxurious abodes, such as castles with big kitchens, there more than likely would have been a worker who was assigned to purely cranking the hog slowly while the chef would add spices and baste – in an almost surgical procedure.
Renaissance Roasting
It was the Renaissance period that was behind sauces being added to hog roasting. In Italy, when most people were learning and enjoying their painting, the chefs of Florence were getting busy basting their pigs with sugar and orange juice. Thanks to those innovative chefs, this notion spread in no time at all and the concept of “basting sauce” spread rapidly, with people trying their own sauces for themselves.
Sadly, as kitchens progressed, became more advanced and took on adapted forms, roasting an entire hog went out of favour, largely because there just wasn’t the room that there used to be. As an alternative, butchers would offer cut up sections of the hog for customers to cook more conveniently - not too different from what we see today!
By the late 1700s the hog roast was resigned to being offered at special events and was cooked over a specially built fire pit.
Hog roasts in other cultures
In the Pacific, islanders used to line a pit with heated lave rocks. They would then season their hog with salt and wrap in banana leaves. Once this was complete they would carefully lower the hog into the pit making sure they covered it with palm fronds immediately after. After being left for around 6 hours, the hog would be primed and ready to eat!
The modern hog roast
Today, as you will no doubt be aware, hog roasts have more than regained their popularity and relevance. As we mentioned at the top of this post, people now use a hog roast as a focal and talking point for a whole host of events, and there are festivals devoted entirely to people offering the most amazing flavours of pig that they can conjure up. If you are looking to expand your catering business with a machine that is capable of cooking not only pig but lamb, vegetables, pasta and even pizza! Click here for more information.
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National BBQ Week returns for the 22nd year on Monday 28th May, ending on Sunday 3rd June 2018, and the country will be breaking out the barbeques, grills and hog roasts to fill the air with that delicious smell that is synonymous with British summer.
The British BBQ has developed over the years, as the food, tastes, cuisines and methods have changed to make barbeques become artisan, hip and a favourite for many. Not much can’t be cooked on a barbeque grill, yet it still has its roots in fun, relaxing social gatherings with family and friends.
Join in celebrating National BBQ Week by firing up your grill, treating yourself to a hog roast spit for sale or trying a new recipe for the barbeque. Remember to share your barbeque adventures on social media too!
Here are three of our favourite recipes for you to try in National BBQ Week along with burgers, sausages and steak:
Glazed Spare Ribs
A delicious – and messy – staple of summer barbeques, this glazed spare ribs recipe is sure to be a favourite and can be done in the oven if grey skies appear. If a whole rack is too much, you can divide it, though don’t go smaller than three or it is likely to become overcooked.
Ingredients
1 to 2 rack of ribs
2 to 3 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp English mustard
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 tbsp vinegar
Method
Crush the garlic and salt together with a fork to make a paste in a bowl. Add all the other ingredients for the marinade, saving vinegar until last. Add the vinegar in small doses, mixing well till it becomes a thick emulsion.
Spread the marinade over the ribs until it is coated on all sides. Leave it from one to five hours, adding an extra coat of the marinade.
When the barbeque is at a medium to hot heat, place the ribs over without wiping off any marinade. Avoid over blackening by turning frequently, and add extra marinade as you go. The ribs should be cooked within 15 minutes.
Stuffed Peppers
For vegetarians at your barbeque, these stuffed peppers will be very popular, and they are a healthy option for people who don’t want to gorge on meat.
Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
50g pine nuts
140 long grain rice
2 garlic cloves, chopped
350g vegetable stock
1 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced
140t cherry tomatoes halved
150g ball mozzarella, chopped
140g Gorgonzola
A handful of parsley and basil, chopped
3 red and 3 yellow peppers
Method
Start with the stuffing; heat the oil in a medium pan with a lid and fry the pine nuts until they are roasted, then add the rice and fry until it is glossy. Stir in the garlic, then add the stock. Bring it to boil, cover and cook it for 10 minutes until the rice is tender. Remove from the heat, letting it cool slightly and stir in the spring onions, tomatoes, cheese and herbs. Season and leave to cool.
Take the peppers, cut them in half and remove the seeds, membrane and stalk. Spoon in the stuffing into the pepper, being careful not to overfill, and place the other half over the top, to create a whole pepper. Take a length of string and tie it around the pepper securely.
Grill the stuffed peppers on a moderate heat for 15 to 20 minutes, turning the peppers until they are evenly browned.
Spit Roast Bourbon Pork
A delicious pork spit roast recipe that you will want to make over and over again, the bourbon marinade brings out all the amazing flavours of pork, and the spit roast will keep the meat moist and cooked to perfection.
Ingredients
2.5kg boneless pork shoulder
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tsp black peppercorns
2 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
240 ml bourbon
64g light brown sugar
1 small onion, finely chopped
60 ml ketchup
60 ml corn syrup
30 ml brown mustard
Method
Use a food mixer to blend the peppercorns and mustard seed into a fine powder, and add the two tbsp light brown sugar, paprika, garlic and onion powder. Rub the mixture all over the pork shoulder, then wrap it in cling film and leave in the fridge for 12 hours.
Remove the pork should from the fridge and let it stand at room temperature for 45 minutes. Season with salt before placing on the spit roast. While the roast is resting out of the fridge start on the marinade, simply whisk all the remaining ingredients together in a bowl.
Secure the shoulder onto the spit roast, and cook over low heat for 3 and a half to four hours. The internal temperature should be around 63 degrees Celsius when done. After the first hour of cooking, apply the marinade every 20 minutes.
Remove the pork shoulder from the spit roast, cover it with foil and leave it to stand before serving.
Will you be trying out some of your favourite barbeques and spit roast recipes throughout National BBQ Week? Let us know via our social media channels!
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