1 whole pig, cleaned, hair removed, weighing between 70 and 100 pounds.
3 heads garlic
As much rosemary as you can find
2 pounds lard
1 box kosher salt

To roast a pig whole, first you have to skewer it on to a spit. Once the pig is in place, rub it down with salt all over its body inside and out. A little heated lard is helpful here because it helps to give the salt something to adhere to on the pig’s skin when rubbed all over the animal.

I build a huge fire about 15 feet from the spit using oak logs and let it burn down, using the embers and coals to spread out around the spit. Spit roasting is always different depending on the situation, but I try not to place any direct flame under the animal so as to avoid flare up from dripping fat. I then spend an entire afternoon rotating the animal every 15 minutes, making sure heat is being distributed evenly throughout the cooking process.

The day is spent shoveling coals from the larger fire to the surrounding pig. Throughout the day baste the skin and the inside of the pig with rosemary and garlic that has been simmering by the animal in lard. The process can go rather quickly or as slowly as you like. I generally start an animal slowly and will cook it as low and slow as I can for as long as I can to render the fat and to make cracklings from the skin.

It should take about six to eight hours to spit roast a whole pig. Once you have deemed it done, remove it from the heat and place whole on a cutting board to rest for 20 minutes and carve. Keep the fire going near by in case the animal is underdone in its shoulders or butt. Serves a lot of people.

This recipe first appeared with this article.