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Cook like the Maya: Cochinita Pibil and Earth-as-Oven

Cook like the Maya: Cochinita Pibil and Earth-as-Oven
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  • Cook like the Maya: Cochinita Pibil and Earth-as-Oven

    Post #1 - June 22nd, 2008, 11:37 am
    Post #1 - June 22nd, 2008, 11:37 am Post #1 - June 22nd, 2008, 11:37 am
    Cook like the Maya: Cochinita Pibil and Earth-as-Oven

    Maybe it’s because I’ve been going to a number of memorial services over the past month, or maybe it’s because I’m bringing gravlax to the recipe party later today, but whatever the cause, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to cook “in a grave.”

    Last night at Mexique, I saw a look of disbelief rise in Chef Carlos Gaytan’s eyes as I explained to him that I planned to make cochinita pibil “the old fashioned way,” in the earth. “Pibil,” as I understand, means “buried,” and I’d like to try using the earth as an oven for making food.

    Here’s my plan: when my garden has died out, probably around the end of September, I plan to dig a hole in the then barren earth and cook some piggy in the style of the Maya: by digging a pit, wrapping the seasoned pork in banana leaf, adding hot rocks, and covering with earth to let the whole thing steam away.

    Obviously, I’m going to use small pieces of pig, and equally obviously, I have no clear idea of what I’m doing. My thought is that I may need to heat rocks (somehow…on the grill? In the oven?) and then periodically add hot coals to the top.

    I asked Gaytan if anyone in Chicago is making cochinita pibil this way, and he calmly explained (showing respectful pity for my naïve question) that if a restaurant cooked this way, it would be a clear violation of health codes, but he offered me a bunch of banana leaves if I wanted to make the effort, all the while showing mild amusement that a gabacho would want to go native with pork. I do.

    I googled for images of cochinita pibil in a traditional preparation and didn’t find any, but I did find this image of the House of Seven Dolls in Dzibilchaltun that The Wife and I visited in the 70s.

    Image

    This building shows solar alignment: the sun shines in the doorways at the beginnings of both planting and harvesting seasons. In the floor of this Mayan structure were found seven or so dolls representing disfigured or malformed bodies. Why? No one is sure, but it seems there’s something magical about putting things in the earth, and I want to tap into that, whatever it is.

    Davie “Abäj k’atän” Hammond
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #2 - June 22nd, 2008, 11:44 am
    Post #2 - June 22nd, 2008, 11:44 am Post #2 - June 22nd, 2008, 11:44 am
    If you can come across a copy of Rick Bayless' "One Plate at a Time" where he talks about Conchinita Pibil, shows it being made the old fashioned way in the Yucatan and then digs a pit in his backyard and makes it at home, you may get a few ideas. His method looked very much on the money to me. The program aired within the last several months.

    P.S. If you need help with this project, let me know. I'd love to help!
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #3 - June 22nd, 2008, 11:49 am
    Post #3 - June 22nd, 2008, 11:49 am Post #3 - June 22nd, 2008, 11:49 am
    stevez wrote:If you can come across a copy of Rick Bayless' "One Plate at a Time" where he talks about Conchinita Pibil, shows it being made the old fashioned way in the Ycatan and then digs a pit in his backyard and makes it at home, you may get a few ideas. His method looked very much on the money to me.

    P.S. If you need help with this project, let me know. I'd love to help!


    Ah, yes, I should have thought of St. Rick right out of the caja. Thanks for the offer of help, as I will surely need it. Going to the book right now.

    This culinary adventure might also be an opportunity to try our hands at making tortillas, which I've never done, either. Some masa, a press, a comal, and a willingness to learn by mistakes...I'm optimistic.
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #4 - June 22nd, 2008, 12:13 pm
    Post #4 - June 22nd, 2008, 12:13 pm Post #4 - June 22nd, 2008, 12:13 pm
    David Hammond wrote:Ah, yes, I should have thought of St. Rick right out of the caja. Thanks for the offer of help, as I will surely need it. Going to the book right now.


    Being the illiterate lout that I am, I was referring to the TV show; not even thinking about having a recipe and/or technique in an actual book. :roll:
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #5 - June 22nd, 2008, 1:13 pm
    Post #5 - June 22nd, 2008, 1:13 pm Post #5 - June 22nd, 2008, 1:13 pm
    stevez wrote:
    David Hammond wrote:Ah, yes, I should have thought of St. Rick right out of the caja. Thanks for the offer of help, as I will surely need it. Going to the book right now.


    Being the illiterate lout that I am, I was referring to the TV show; not even thinking about having a recipe and/or technique in an actual book. :roll:


    Not sure it's on the show; check out this program note:

    "Back in Chicago, he shows us his favorite way to do pit-cooking at home–without lifting a shovel. It’s all done on the grill using indirect heat and Rick’s foolproof leaf-wrapping technique. He prepares fork tender Cochinita Pibil–Yucatecan-style Achiote-Rubbed Pork Cooked in Banana Leaves, served with a fiery Habanero Salsa."

    Source: http://www.rickbayless.com/tv/season1/barbacoa_cochinita.html

    I believe I've seen this episode, but don't remember the part about cochinita pibil.
  • Post #6 - June 22nd, 2008, 1:24 pm
    Post #6 - June 22nd, 2008, 1:24 pm Post #6 - June 22nd, 2008, 1:24 pm
    I'm with SteveZ on this - it was definitely on the show - maybe six months ago - and he and his daughter were definitely lifting shovels. It's part of the most recent season, although he describes it as Oaxacan, not Yucatan-style.

    http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/view?recipeID=92
  • Post #7 - June 22nd, 2008, 2:34 pm
    Post #7 - June 22nd, 2008, 2:34 pm Post #7 - June 22nd, 2008, 2:34 pm
    nr706 wrote:I'm with SteveZ on this - it was definitely on the show - maybe six months ago - and he and his daughter were definitely lifting shovels. It's part of the most recent season, although he describes it as Oaxacan, not Yucatan-style.

    http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/view?recipeID=92


    I believe he makes lamb, not pork, in the pit; the lamb is Oaxacan; the pork (cochinita) is Yucatecan. Still, it seems like the same technique would apply. Thanks for the link.
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #8 - June 22nd, 2008, 2:37 pm
    Post #8 - June 22nd, 2008, 2:37 pm Post #8 - June 22nd, 2008, 2:37 pm
    Hammond,

    Stevez is right on the mark about checking out Mexico One Plate at a Time. Though the episode you want isn't the current season (6), but rather last season (5). Checking the website the episode is titled: "A pig, a pit, and a plan." See the description here:
    http://www.rickbayless.com/tv/season5/pigpitplan.html

    In the most recent season he uses the same pit from his Cochinita Pibil adventure, to slow-cook a whole lamb Barbacoa-style. Good luck, I'm curious to see how it turns out.

    Rob C.
  • Post #9 - June 22nd, 2008, 3:05 pm
    Post #9 - June 22nd, 2008, 3:05 pm Post #9 - June 22nd, 2008, 3:05 pm
    Rob C, thanks for the link.

    Rob C wrote:I'm curious to see how it turns out.Rob C.

    You and me both, bro.

    I doubt I'll start the fire the night before; I'll probably just get up early to get it going. I'm wondering if a bonfire is some violation of local ordinance.
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #10 - June 22nd, 2008, 4:42 pm
    Post #10 - June 22nd, 2008, 4:42 pm Post #10 - June 22nd, 2008, 4:42 pm
    If you will kindly direct your eyes thisaway and scroll down to post numbers 37 (and, on the next page, 46), you'll find some interesting pictures in a thread devoted to this particular delicacy! Buen provecho (and I think I'm free the night you're serving it! :lol: )



    P.S. This site suggests another approach to how to build your fire....
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #11 - June 22nd, 2008, 5:18 pm
    Post #11 - June 22nd, 2008, 5:18 pm Post #11 - June 22nd, 2008, 5:18 pm
    While not exactly the same, this post, second from the top, shows the step by step process of cooking two whole pigs in the ground, Hawaiian style. It's in the food thread of an art forum. On a side note, some of the cupcake decorations earlier in the thread are beautiful.

    http://tinyurl.com/5pxyzr

    Regards,
    Jen
  • Post #12 - June 22nd, 2008, 7:32 pm
    Post #12 - June 22nd, 2008, 7:32 pm Post #12 - June 22nd, 2008, 7:32 pm
    I've done cochinita pibil in a cast-iron Dutch oven over campfire coals, and have also heard of people subjecting even their Le Creuset to backyard pit burial. It turns out very well for me over the stove in banana leaves (which they sell at most Whole Foods) in my enamelware. I use the Bayless recipe.
  • Post #13 - June 22nd, 2008, 8:10 pm
    Post #13 - June 22nd, 2008, 8:10 pm Post #13 - June 22nd, 2008, 8:10 pm
    I use the Patricia Quintana recipe. I've been very pleased with using the residual heat from my brick oven the day after baking pizzas.

    I do NOT like the Bayless recipe for the pickled onions - they taste nothing like the ones I've had in Merida and seem to short-circuit the flavor of the pork. Reed Heron's recipe from La Parilla is much better, IMO.
  • Post #14 - June 22nd, 2008, 9:00 pm
    Post #14 - June 22nd, 2008, 9:00 pm Post #14 - June 22nd, 2008, 9:00 pm
    I agree that Bayless' pickled onion recipe is a bit strong. He uses 100% lime juice in his recipe if I remember correctly. I use Diana Kennedy's recipe which uses vinegar -- similar to Reed Heron's but with a few extra spices.
  • Post #15 - June 24th, 2008, 9:45 pm
    Post #15 - June 24th, 2008, 9:45 pm Post #15 - June 24th, 2008, 9:45 pm
    Not sure how much you are looking to emulate Bayless's show, Hammond, but additional details.

    - He recommended going to a restaurant supply store and getting a big roasting pan to stow your banana-leaf wrapped hunks of beast.
    - He procured a large, heavy steel slab (precursor to a door? floor panel?) to act as a giant lid for the roasting pan. This should be slightly smaller than the dimension of your staked and measured fire pit (see below).
    - He suggested targeting a shaded spot where nothing grows that is far from flammable objects. This ensures safety and allows you to keep your fire pit in continuously operating order even when the garden is in bloom (not sure if your space allows for this)
    - He methodically staked out his pit by measuring the dimensions of the roasting pan plus about 8" on each side.
    - Save the earth! Well, save the Earth, but also the dirt that you dig up to reveal your pit. It will be useful to shovel back on top of the door-covered roasting pan to put the fire out and insulate the oven
    - He lined the pit with regular old fire bricks (might have stacked the sides two deep) and built a wood fire early the morning of and allowed it to burn down to embers some 6 hours or so before the people were to arrive.
    - As mentioned above, your goal is to extinguish all live flames so as he was shoveling dirt back on to cover the whole set-up, he scanned for cracks where smoke was still escaping. Onto these, he piled dirt to make the air-tight seal, depriving the fire of the oxygen it needs for combustion.

    That's what I recall. If you watch the episode, the pictures will be worth more than this description ever was.

    Still, a fine and worthy endeavor. I look forward to updates
  • Post #16 - June 24th, 2008, 11:23 pm
    Post #16 - June 24th, 2008, 11:23 pm Post #16 - June 24th, 2008, 11:23 pm
    gastro gnome wrote:- He suggested targeting a shaded spot where nothing grows that is far from flammable objects. This ensures safety and allows you to keep your fire pit in continuously operating order even when the garden is in bloom (not sure if your space allows for this)


    My space will allow for this in autumn, when all the vegetation is brown or gone.

    Thanks for the notes from Bayless -- I got to see this show.
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #17 - June 24th, 2008, 11:31 pm
    Post #17 - June 24th, 2008, 11:31 pm Post #17 - June 24th, 2008, 11:31 pm
    kanin wrote:I agree that Bayless' pickled onion recipe is a bit strong. He uses 100% lime juice in his recipe if I remember correctly. I use Diana Kennedy's recipe which uses vinegar -- similar to Reed Heron's but with a few extra spices.


    Of course, technically, both choices are wrong. You're supposed to use sour orange. Both lime and vinegar are concessions that hark back to the days when sour orange was not so easily available in the Chicagoland area. A quick and easy method that tastes very much like the onions I had all over the Yucatan is to just use Mojo Criollo -- it gives you sour orange, salt, pepper, and garlic in almost perfect balance.

    The recipe I brought home from the Yucatan (the recipe I usually ignore in favor of just using Mojo Criollo) is as follows:
    Cebollas Encuridas
    Yucatecan Pickled Onions

    1 large red onion, thinly sliced
    boiling water, to cover
    1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 cup sour orange juice, or to cover
    1/2 tsp dried oregano, preferably Mexican oregano

    Pour boiling water over the sliced onions. Let sit for 1 minute. Drain, discarding the water. Put the onion in a non-reactive container and add the rest of the ingredients. Let sit for at least one hour, but preferably overnight. Depending on the size of the onion, makes 1 to 1-1/2 cups of pickled onion.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #18 - June 24th, 2008, 11:40 pm
    Post #18 - June 24th, 2008, 11:40 pm Post #18 - June 24th, 2008, 11:40 pm
    Hi,

    Somewhere in my deep freezer is at least a quart of sour orange juice. You may have this for your project.

    You may want to have a plan B to a dug pit, if you're backyard behaves like mine. If there have been plentiful rains, when we dig a few feet deep we sometimes encounter water.

    Is this Mayan outdoor cooking the swan song for Ermine?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #19 - June 24th, 2008, 11:46 pm
    Post #19 - June 24th, 2008, 11:46 pm Post #19 - June 24th, 2008, 11:46 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Is this Mayan outdoor cooking the swan song for Ermine?


    Ha, no, she'd still be too young (actually, I have not been able to visit her yet, but we plan to make introductions on July 5).
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #20 - June 25th, 2008, 9:12 am
    Post #20 - June 25th, 2008, 9:12 am Post #20 - June 25th, 2008, 9:12 am
    A filmmaker named Roberto Rodriguez featured puerco pibil (cochinita pibil) in his movie, "Once Upon A Time in Mexico." The main caballero gun-slinger would always attempt to get a good plate of puerco pibil in each village he travelled through.

    Also on the DVD was a bonus feature called Rodriguez's "10-minute cooking shool" where he shows how to make puerco pibil step-by-step. The 10-minute" feature is here on YouTube.

    Years ago when the movie came out on DVD (or was it video cassette back then?) we transcribed the list of ingredients from Rodriguez's running description. Here are the ingredients:

    Spice Mixture
    5 tablespoons annato seeds (aciote)
    1 teaspoon peppercorns
    8 whole allspice
    2 teaspooon cumin seeds
    1/2 teaspoon whole cloves

    Marinade
    1/2 cup orange juice
    1/2 cup white vinegar
    8 large garlic cloves
    2 teaspoons salt
    2 habanero peppers, seeded, deveined

    Juice of five lemons
    splash of tequila

    5 lbs. pork butt cut into 2-inch cubes
    Fresh or frozen banana leaves

    We also wrote our own summary of the various steps to make this recipe. Here is our summary:

    1. Grind spices for Spice Mixture in a coffee grinder.

    2. Put ingredients for Marinade into a blender (from orange juice to peppers) and blend until completely pureed and mixed. Add Spice Mixture and blend again. Add lemon juice and tequila.

    3. Pour marinade into a large ziploc bag. Add pork cubes squeezing air out of bag and sealing. Let marinade for one hour or overnight.

    4. Lay banana leaves in pan, overlapping edges. Pour pork and marinade and wrap the leaves over the top until all the meat is completely covered with banana leaves. Tie with twine or use toothpicks to close.

    5. Roast for four hours at 325 degrees. Serve over white rice.

    Yes it is sad but true that there is no pit or shovel involved in this method. But we've had such great success with making this that we make it at least once a year. Not completely authentic. Just very easy and doable and delicious for folks that like that kind of thing.

    --Joy
  • Post #21 - June 25th, 2008, 9:17 am
    Post #21 - June 25th, 2008, 9:17 am Post #21 - June 25th, 2008, 9:17 am
    Joy wrote:A filmmaker named Roberto Rodriguez featured puerco pibil (cochinita pibil) in his movie, "Once Upon A Time in Mexico." The main caballero gun-slinger would always attempt to get a good plate of puerco pibil in each village he travelled through.


    Thanks for bringing this up. I had forgotten all about that movie. His search for the perfect puerco pibil was one of the few redeeming qualities of that character and I always loved the fact that this particular piece of business was included in the movie.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #22 - June 25th, 2008, 10:37 am
    Post #22 - June 25th, 2008, 10:37 am Post #22 - June 25th, 2008, 10:37 am
    stevez wrote:
    Joy wrote:A filmmaker named Roberto Rodriguez featured puerco pibil (cochinita pibil) in his movie, "Once Upon A Time in Mexico." The main caballero gun-slinger would always attempt to get a good plate of puerco pibil in each village he travelled through.


    Thanks for bringing this up. I had forgotten all about that movie. His search for the perfect puerco pibil was one of the few redeeming qualities of that character and I always loved the fact that this particular piece of business was included in the movie.


    The "gun slinger" was Johnny Depp playing a renegade CIA agent. He tried the pibil in each town because, if it was TOO good, he killed the chef, to restore balance. So it was a pretty weird quest -- and the movie as a whole was pretty weird.

    And to this day, I never have really good pibil without worrying about the chef's life. ;-)
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #23 - June 25th, 2008, 7:30 pm
    Post #23 - June 25th, 2008, 7:30 pm Post #23 - June 25th, 2008, 7:30 pm
    Cynthia wrote:A quick and easy method that tastes very much like the onions I had all over the Yucatan is to just use Mojo Criollo -- it gives you sour orange, salt, pepper, and garlic in almost perfect balance.

    Just blanch the onions and pour over Mojo Criollo to cover? That's it? I'm going to have try that! Thanks, Cynthia.
  • Post #24 - June 25th, 2008, 9:27 pm
    Post #24 - June 25th, 2008, 9:27 pm Post #24 - June 25th, 2008, 9:27 pm
    While we're on the subject of Cochinita Pibil (the non-fire pit method), I really have to give a push for YourPalWills' recipe, which is strikingly similar to Roberto Rodriguez's recipe, listed above by Joy.

    It is so simple, and as we know from the 1,000 Recipe Potluck, it feeds a crowd. The only changes I made were: I didn't add any vinegar to the marinade (which I think breaks down the meat too much), and I toasted/carmelized the banana leaves over the flame on the stove prior to lining them in the pan. This requires a bit of asbestos hands, but it somewhat approximates the fire-pit method, as well as creates little beads of caramel from the natural sugars in the leaves. This, I think, adds a certain depth of flavor, as caramel tends to do. I also liberally lined the pan with the leaves to create a tight little packet. I roasted at 375 for the first hour, then 325 for the next three.

    A note on shopping: I live down the street from two well-known Mexican markets - Carniceria Tierra Caliente (f/k/a Carniceria Leon) and Carniceria Guanajuato. Disappointingly, none of these markets had banana leaves, habaneros, or ground achiote.

    I later discovered that my one-stop-shop for this dish is Tony's Finer Foods, on Fullerton in Logan Square. Banana leaves were $1.49 a package, boneless pork butt was $1.79/lb (BTW, that was the same price offered by Bari that same day -- good to know). And they had ground annato.

    Tony's Finer Foods
    3607 W. Fullerton (Logan Square)
    Chicago
    (773) 278-8355
  • Post #25 - June 25th, 2008, 10:02 pm
    Post #25 - June 25th, 2008, 10:02 pm Post #25 - June 25th, 2008, 10:02 pm
    Hi,

    FYI - I bought a pork butt at Peoria Packing House on Saturday for $1.49 or $1.59 per pound.

    I tried your version our YourPalWill's recipe rather late in the program. I was sorry I didn't catch it earlier, because it was very good.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #26 - June 26th, 2008, 12:14 am
    Post #26 - June 26th, 2008, 12:14 am Post #26 - June 26th, 2008, 12:14 am
    For those who might not live near Tony's Finer Foods, Carniceria Jimenez is another "one stop shop" for just about anything Mexican. I know there are several locations, but the closest one to me is in Wheeling. Banana leaves, yuca, crema, cow hooves, epazote, sour orange, almost everything you need or want.

    Carniceria Jimenez
    550 W Dundee Rd
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (847) 229-9295

    (and elsewhere)
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #27 - June 26th, 2008, 6:32 am
    Post #27 - June 26th, 2008, 6:32 am Post #27 - June 26th, 2008, 6:32 am
    I recently had a terrific version of conchita pibil, which is the regular Wednesday night special, at Frontera. I'm sure that Bayless was prohibited from digging a pit behind his restaurant. However, he may have achieved the smokiness that he did by employing the method mentioned by Aschie above.

    That said, no conchita pibil that I have ever had here in the states rivals that served from a simple little cart across from the naval station on Isla Mujeres. It was cooked traditionally, in the pit and had a depth and flavor that was just incredible. It was served as a torta on rather pedestrian bread for 7 pesos (about 70 cents).

    I'll be interested to hear and see how any summer pit efforts at this dish turn out.
  • Post #28 - June 26th, 2008, 8:19 am
    Post #28 - June 26th, 2008, 8:19 am Post #28 - June 26th, 2008, 8:19 am
    YourPalWill wrote:That said, no conchita pibil that I have ever had here in the states rivals that served from a simple little cart across from the naval station on Isla Mujeres.


    Couple of reasons: The dish is traditionally made from whole young or suckling pigs - different flavor profile than, say, pork butt from mature pigs. Also, pork (and chicken) often tastes better in Mexico, especially those raised in back yards, fed household scraps, etc. I would like to make pibil with a suckling pig, but this provokes my wife's "ahhhhh, poor little baby" response. :(
  • Post #29 - June 26th, 2008, 11:20 am
    Post #29 - June 26th, 2008, 11:20 am Post #29 - June 26th, 2008, 11:20 am
    That would make sense. The product that I ate down there had this silky fattiness to it that the xni pec cut through just a bit when used sparingly. There was also a tenderness to it that belies a reliance upon slow smoky cooking. The texture and flavor of the meat was much like the barbeque from the whole hog that Ed Mitchell used to serve at his restaurant in Wilson, NC, which was uniquely cut by his spicy vinegar based sauce.

    The version of conchita pibil that I had at a hotel in Cancun (ugh, don't ask) was entirely different as was the poc chuc than many of the local restaurants in Isla Mujeres seemed to favor over conchita pibil.
  • Post #30 - March 27th, 2010, 12:45 pm
    Post #30 - March 27th, 2010, 12:45 pm Post #30 - March 27th, 2010, 12:45 pm
    I am thinking about doing the Bayless method for making cochinita pibil over Memorial Day weekend this year at my family's lakehouse in MI. I haven't been able to find the video of the One Plate at a Time episode that covers this. I have one major question though - what kind of rocks/bricks do you need to use? Bayless doesn't specify in his recipe and every recipe I find online talks about roasting the pork in the oven. Also, do the rocks really stay hot enough for the 4+ hours that the pork needs to cook? My nightmare scenario is pulling the pig out and not having it be done yet.

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