Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Pit Roast

The community up here on the mountain has only a few full-time residents.  But during the Summer months, when the holidays come around, many of the property owners come up to enjoy the outdoors.  To kickoff this year, at the annual Memorial Day get-together here on the mountain, we supplied two of our goats for the fire pit.

 Stirring the coals.

It was nice this year because it was more of a community effort, many pitched in to lend a hand.  It's a bit involved and the more the help the more rewarding it all is!  I don't have pictures yet of the butchering process because I'm usually the one who takes all the pictures, so maybe I'll just spare you the details of dressing and cutting the meat into good sections!  You hunters and private meat producers out there wouldn't see anything you haven't already seen anyway!

Soaking the burlap to wrap around the meat.

Foil-wrapped meat now being wrapped in burlap.

Wire wrapped around meat...

...form a handle...

...and now ready for the pit!

On a side note, John found this rattler on Thursday, and I guess he'll be mounting the skin on a board for his indoor decor.  We rarely see these lighter colored snakes around here.

My son makes his face making his feelings known concerning what he sees...

...but the next moment enthralled by the process!

 Back to the pit, adding prickly pear pads to the top of the coals.  It adds moisture and keeps the burlap wrapped meat directly off the coals.

Time to make the mud!  The meat is in the pit, with the larger pieces at the bottom.

Lining the edges...

...closing it up...

 ...tamping it down...

...more mud to seal around the edges...

...and more mud...

The object is to fill in and seal all edges by making sure no smoke is escaping.  If smoke is allowed to come out, it means it's not air tight, which means the meat could burn up in flames!  Sealing it up creates an oven and if cooked long enough, the meat is soft, juicy and literally falls off the bone!  Yum!  But you don't really know how effective all the effort was until the next morning.

So, until then, all that's left to do is catch up on pictures from the evening so far!

The meat went in last night at around 8pm.  This is what we saw at 10am.

The moment of truth!

It's so tender it's falling off the bone!

After all the meat is out and pulled apart...

...we all gather around the buffet-style table.

A good time was had by all!
Nothing like a community effort in good food preparation and enjoyment.

Hope you all had a safe and enjoyable weekend.
If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you value your freedom, thank a vet.


  1. Wow I love this.Thank you for showing us how to do this.
    What type of board covers the pit? Is this just regular mud? Was the fire a wood fire or coal fire? How deep is the pit? I assume it was made with bricks used in fireplaces. Can you cook anything else in it?
    Sorry for all the questions..my husband has been wanting to make one for years!!lol

    This looked like alot of fun..and we eat goat meat..yum~~

    Cindy from Rick-Rack and Gingham

  2. Wonderful idea, using the prickly pears!

  3. Yumm. This was a delicous post. Thank you. Makes me want to build a pit oven. Can you do that with a whole goat instead of cutting it up? Hope all is well with you and your family.
    -Geoff Goldsborough

  4. Very cool! The pictures made me want to be there too!