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I ordered a roast whole pig from a local meat market. They've told me that when I pick it up, it'll be fully cooked and in a foil lined box. My concern is what do I do from there? Is there going to be a lot of butchering involved to get portions off for each guest or is it easy enough to grab a hunk of meat and slap it on your plate?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

It really depends on your audience and setting.

With a Filipino Lechon, it's served communally and eaten as pulled pork, so it's expected that you'll just plunk it down on a side table, and people will crack through the crisp, almost hard, skin and pull servings for themselves with tongs or forks. And they'll go for the whole thing, skin, ears, jowls and all (most people I know don't eat the ears, but they may crunch the crispy skin off them).

A similar thing is done with a country-style hog roast. Those may be skinned before serving, but generally you're responsible for pulling or slicing what you want right off the hog (and usually throwing it on a cheapo burger bun).

In both of these settings there are almost always some people who don't want to dig right into the pig out of squeamishness or out of fear of getting some part that's not nice to eat. The good host will periodically pull some of the good stuff onto a platter for those folks.

If you're doing something more formal, I guess you'd want to section it like Foodrules suggests.

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The market where we bought it from had us cut through the skin on one side, open it and then leave it for people to pull out what they wanted with tongs. Once that half was done, we opened the other side. –  Jonathan Campbell Jun 5 '11 at 22:15

Your question is fairly difficult to answer via this forum, but I will try

  1. Cut the head off
  2. Cut the legs off and try to cut near the joint, so it will come off nicely (I must admit it's hard to describe how to do it here). The end result should be two nice pork knuckles.
  3. Cut the middle of the big where the spine is
  4. Once you cut the pig in two big parts, you would see some bones (where the ribs are) attached it. You should see some space there where you can cut the ribs off, so you will get some nice ribs with a bit of meat and fat there.
  5. After that, it's a matter of your choice how you divide up the rest of the pork.

I hope I have given you some ideas, but may not be very detailed descriptions.

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