Introduction: Welcome to the A-PORK-alypse
This summer impress your friends and family with a BBQ treat they will not soon forget.
What you will need to be awesome:
8+ lbs of ground pork or pork sausage
2 lbs of pulled pork
1 lb of bacon, fried
8 oz of jowl bacon (unsliced)
2 cherry tomatoes
Monterey Jack cheese
Perforated grill tray
wood for smoke
Let's get started!
Step 1: The Base Layer and Filling
I used a 1lb tube of store bought sausage for the base. It's more firm than the bulk sausage I bought from my butcher. If you use ground pork you will need to season it. Ground pork is very bland.
Roll out the tube of sausage between 2 sheets of wax paper or plastic cling wrap. Peel off the top and place on a sheet of foil to remove the bottom piece. The sharper the angle that you peel the wax paper off the easier it will be.
Add a layer of ground pork or bulk sausage.
Transfer to a perforated grill tray (top of a broiler pan also works well). I do not recommend the using the flimsy foil kind unless you use 12 of them.
Place 2 lbs of sauced pulled pork in the center of the bottom layers. Fold up the sides to create a container like structure.
Cover with cooked bacon.
Ultimately, you can use whatever you want for the filling. It does help if it is precooked.
Step 2: The Layers, Oh the Layers!
Using the same method to create the base layers make a layer of meat to cover the filling. Tuck the additional layers in neatly to form the body of the a-PORK-alypse.
For the next layer I made some chorizo-ish sausage.
1 lb of ground pork or sausage
3 dried ancho chilies
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup dice onion
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
Seed and soak the dried chilies in water for 30 minutes. After soaking place in a blender with the onion, garlic and vinegar. Blend until smooth.
Place meat, chili paste and dry ingredients in mixing bowl to combine. I used my stand mixer and it worked great.
Add chorizo layer and throw on some more bacon and jowl bacon just to be safe.
Finish with the outer layer of meat.
Step 3: Head, Arms and Legs
For the head make a ball of meat proportionate to the body. Shape into a pigs head. I wish I could explain this better but I am not an artist and was shocked at how good it turned out. At least I think it looks good.
The hind legs are basically just balls of meat... except one of them is mixed with fresh jalapeno puree and covered with a thin layer of regular sausage to disguise it. The joke leg is optional.
The front legs are full of slices from a block of jack cheese. Make small layers of meat and wrap the cheese in it. The shape of the cheese naturally lends itself to be the front legs.
Smooth over joints by hand or table knife so they appear attached.
Cover in plastic wrap and place in fridge to cool down and firm up.
Step 4: Finishing Touches
No pig would be complete without ears. Cut off 2 thick slices of jowl bacon. Trim and shape to form the ears. Stick 2 toothpicks half way into the base of each ear.
For the eyes I used 1 cherry tomato cut in half lengthwise. For the nostrils I found the smallest cherry tomato in the bunch and used 2 center slices. I then delicately removed the inside of the slices.
The tail is also made from jowl bacon. No need for toothpicks just stick it where the tail goes.
After the pig has rested in the fridge remove it and add the features you so lovely handcrafted.
Next cover the pig in BBQ rub. I used homemade but store bought is just fine.
Step 5: Smoke 'em If You Got 'em.
While the a-Pork-alypse is chilling but before the previous step start your smoker or set up your grill for indirect cooking. Use a pan or foil or a foil pan to collect the drippings. Not to use later but to make clean up a lot easier.
Since you're using ground meat you can smoke/cook at a higher temp than what is normally considered BBQ temps. I smoked mine at 300 degrees F until an internal temperature of 165 was reached. Roughly 2.5 hours. Go by internal temp not time.
I used apple and cherry wood for smoke flavoring.
During the last 20 minutes of cooking slather on your favorite BBQ sauce.I used homemade but again store bought is fine. Let the sauce thicken before removing from the smoker/grill.
Remove from smoker and display it proudly as your guests arrive.
Now, all that's left to do is serve and enjoy.