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Cheryl Alters Jamison & Bill Jamison
Going Whole Hog
from Smoke & Spice(Harvard Common Press, 1994)
If you have a large barbecue pit, a few assistants, and an urge for the ultimate challenge, you should tackle a whole hog. This was the original barbecue meat of the South, and it's still the first choice of many prominent pitmasters. Among all the experts, no one does a better job than Jim Quessenberry, founder and leader of the Arkansas Trav'lers barbecue team. We had the honor of cooking with the Trav'lers one year at the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Contest, where Jim taught us his techniques.
As Quessenberry says, "The most important factor in whole hog is in fact the hog, himself." Bribe your
butcher for the best animal in the area. Jim gets his hogs from a Mennonite farmer in Tennessee who custom
raises them on corn for a firm white meat that's as mild as turkey. The butcher should gut the hog, skin it, and
trim the outside fat to a 1/4-inch thickness.
206 E. Merriman
Wynne, AK 72396
or call, 501-588-4442
Quessenberry's Quintessential Hog Mop:
1. Fire up the pit, preferably with a combination of hickory and oak, and bring it to a temperature of 250 degrees F.
2. Rub the hog thoroughly with Southern Succor Rub and lift onto the pit, belly side down. If the pit has an offset firebox, position the head facing away from the fire and cover the hams loosely with aluminum foil. Every hour or so, sprinkle on more dry spices or mop the meat with the vinegar mixture, alternating between the two applications.
3. Maintain a steady cooking temperature of 200 degrees F to 250 degrees F for 18 to 20 hours, or until the internal temperature of the meat is 165 degree F to 170 degree F.
4. While the fire dies, allow the hog to sit in the pit for several hours before carving. Serve accompanied by
Vaunted Vinegar Sauce, if you wish.
The Jamisons are also national spokespeople for The National Pork Producers Council and are frequent guest- instructors at many prestigious cooking schools around the country, including the Santa Fe School of Cooking where Cheryl teaches traditional and contemporary Southwestern and Mexican cooking. In addition to their cookbooks and travel guides, the Jamisons also write articles for magazines and newspapers, including Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Cook's Illustrated, On the Grill, and the New York Times. Bill and Cheryl Jamison make their home in Santa Fe, where they develop their recipes and do most of their writing.