Piggy Stew


This dish was first tried near Patagonia, Arizona, in the 1992 javelina hunting camp. It really works. Apparently, you can't get it too hot or leave it too long. The ingredients listed are what we used there, but any dish, stew or otherwise, will work if it can be cooked long and slowly.


1 javalina shoulder
potatoes, sliced
carrots, chopped
onion, sliced
wine, 1-2 cups
salt and pepper
hot sauce
2-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour


Dig a hole in the ground about 18" deep and twice the diameter of a Dutch oven. Build a hot fire of good hardwood in the hole and tend it until you have the hole at least 2/3 full of good coals. Put the shoulder, or other meat of your choice, trimmed and deboned if you like, in a large cast iron Dutch oven. Add the vegetables, cut to stew size, wine of your choice, flour, salt and pepper and hot sauce to taste, and water to nearly cover. Cover the oven with heavy duty aluminum foil, then put on the lid. Scoop out all but 3-4 inches of coals and set the oven into the hole. Shovel in coals to pile up on the sides till level with the top of the oven, then add more till the top is covered with 3-4 inches of coals. Mix dirt and ashes about half and half and cover the entire mess with 6-8 inches of This Mixture. Leave 10-12 hours, then open the pit and carefully clean and then open the oven. Prepare for a feast! The meat will fall from the bones, fork tender, the sauce will be flavorful and thickened, and the vegetables will be firm and tender, not mush. Eat with whole grain bread and butter, wine and gusto.


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