Campfires! Nothing is so hypnotic or relaxing like a warm, glowing campfire at your feet, a cold bubbly drink, and some animal flesh sizzling over the coals. Sure, most people pair campfires with hot dogs, sausages, or even marshmallows. Today I’d like to share a pork roast I recently cooked at Spruce-Lake.
I started the night before by marinating the roast in whatever I had in the cupboard and fridge: some sketchy looking olive oil, salt, spices, and vinegar packets from MacDonalds circa 1987. I covered it and left it in the fridge to marinate.
The next day I made a biggish fire and let it burn down a bit. Coals are good. Flaming logs not so much. The meat got skewered and placed in front of the fire.
When open roasting like this it’s important to remove your meat from the fridge an hour or two before. This allows the meat to come to room temperature before cooking. Otherwise, the outside will cook and the inside will be cold.
I put the roast on the edge so could catch the drippings in a pan. I selected a roast with a large fatty cap and it made a lot of juice as it cooked. I spooned this over the roast periodically to keep things moist.
I would avoid putting a roast directly over the fire as this’ll cause the fat drippings to flare up and burn the roast. And whatever you do, do not drop the roast in the grass or let the dog start licking it when the fire gets too low.
That key to cooking like this is to be patient… and use a cooking thermometer. On my small fire with the occasional breeze, this modest sized roast took 3 full hours to cook to pork temperature. On the plus side, I got so hungry I ate dessert first before dinner. Sometimes I get a little crazy like that.
After removing from the spit, let the thing rest five minutes before cutting into it. Otherwise, a lot of the juices will escape when you cut into it and the meat will be more dry.
I’ve cooked rabbits and Cornish hens with this method to great success. The trick is to just be patient.
This style of cooking can take a while, but food isn’t always meant to be prepared in a hurry. If we enjoy only the consumption, then we’ll miss all the fun in preparation. Besides, this way you’ll have an excuse to eat dessert before the meal.