So in my continuous effort to learn new ways to roast a whole animal I’ve discovered this. The caja china- the Chinese box. Sounds better in Espanol.
It’s a simple contraption that is very easy to set up. Took us about an hour and it was ready to go. It’s a wooden exterior with a stainless steel inner lining. It takes coals and not wood for the heat. These go on top of the box so you can adjust the heat every hour or as needed. The pig sits inside and is clamped on ether side by a cafe like device. Device sounds complicated but it’s still very simple. There is even a drop pan to catch the juices. I would love to think we could put potatoes and onions in there to cook in the juices under the pig.
So we haven’t used it yet, but I will finish this post when we do with more pics. Should be cool and a third of the work involved. The spit takes about fifteen hours including butchery and this box should only take about six. Four of which for the cooking time.
Butcher & Public is an idea for bringing local farmers, ranchers, producers and their creations together for a feast and gathering. We will butcher a whole animal, gather local produce and conjure local brewers. The animal will be respected in the sense it will be used in in entirety and will bring community together. The produce and grains will be sourced from urban and local farms to reflect the seasons of AR. It will be a full meal with the obvious centerpiece of a spit roasted whole animal. The first one is a pig from Mitchell and Freckle Face Farm. It’s a reason to hang outside on a cold winter day and if nothing else an excuse to drink some brew by a fire pit. So essentially The What is just that. A gathering of like-minded, food interested people gathering to enjoy it around a fire. Seems to be The Why too.
The When? The first of these events is January — . At the moment this is a ticket free event but we are accepting gracious donations of which 100% will go back into the events to help them grow and continue to support these great people. The first one will be trial by fire and we’ll grow from there.
The Where? We are excited to say Dunbar Community Gardens have been awesome enough to let us set up for an extended day to roast a pig. So the event will kick off at 5pm. And everyone keep in mind its January in AR and the weather will do what she will. So weather permitting it will maintain this location. Because the size of the main course it wouldn’t work as well indoors and we will have to reschedule if it seems its going to storm.
So that should about do it on the details. I hope all of you can make it out for some eating and drinking with us. This is really a hope to get everyone out on a dreary winter day to enjoy a pit fire and some tasty foods and drinks.
Travis McConnell, sous chef at the Capital Hotel Bar & Grill, plans to open Butcher and Public, his own brick and mortar space in Little Rock at some point down the road. At 5 p.m. Jan. 13, he’s hosting an event at the Dunbar Community Garden Project to show off his vision — a whole roasted local pig party.
The event is donations-only and not ticketed. McConnell plans to offer a full meal that’s cooked over the fire. He’ll roast a pig from Freckle Face Farms on a spit that he and his dad recently built; use produce from Little Rock Urban Farming, Armstead Farms and others, and serve beer from Diamond Bear and Vino’s. He said the menu is a reflection of his cooking philosophy: whole butchered animals and fixin’s, locally and regionally sourced.
McConnell first worked as sous chef at the Capital Bar from 2007 until 2009, before departing for Revival Bar and Kitchen in Berkley for three years. He returned to the Capital in September after vacationing Italy, where he got to spend a few days studying under Dario Cecchini, who Anthony Bourdain has called “the most famous and respected butcher in Italy and, maybe, the world.” McConnell has posted a few shots of Cecchini’s butcher shop, Antica Macelleria Cecchini, on the Butcher and Public Facebook page as an example of what he wants Butcher and Public to be.
Written by Lindsey Millar on Fri, Jan 4, 2013 at 12:18 PMLink to Full Article on Arkansas Times