CHICAGO (WLS) --You might be firing up the grill this Labor Day weekend, but you might not be doing this: roasting an entire pig! That is what they're doing at the Second Annual HogFight (www.HogFight.com) in Chicago. Participants are not only going for the title of best hog, the event is also supporting a great cause.
One of the contestants, Jakes Dioguardi, owner of Porkies Pig Roast, came into our ABC 7 Eyewitness News studio with Linda Mastandrea, president of Variety of Illinois, to tell us about the event and to show us a great pig recipe.
Second annual HogFight
Sunday, Aug. 31
Mahoney's Pub and Grille
551 N. Ogden Avenue, Chicago
Ticket Prices: $25
Jakes Dioguardi's recipe: Pig Wings
6 4-ounce ham hocks with shank bone intact
3/4 cup coarse kosher salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 gallon cold water
1 tablespoon black pepper
Porkies own BBQ sauce, spicy or original
1. A heavy-duty plastic tube, stainless-steel bowl, or re-sealable plastic bag can work as a brining container, as long as the pork is fully submerged.
2. Weight with a plate, if necessary, to keep the meat fully covered by the brine.
3. Dissolve salt and sugar in the boiling water.
4. Add it to the cold water; add pepper and stir to combine.
5. Chill brine completely in the refrigerator before adding pork.
6. Place your pork in the water and place in the refrigerator for the time required.
7. Experiment with seasonings. Salt is essential, but everything else is optional. Spice to consider: garlic; ginger; fresh herbs; juniper berries; clove; cinnamon stick; vanilla bean; mustard seed; coriander seed; star anise; hot pepper flakes or Sichuan peppercorns.
8. To give pork a sweet edge and encourage browning, add 1/2 cup sugar to each 2 quarts of water. Brine for 8-12 hours.
9. Rinse pork twice after removing it from the brine solution; discard brine. If you are not ready to cook at the end of the brining time, remove and rinse the meat. Refrigerate until ready to use. Do not salt brined meat before cooking.
10. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
11. Place the pig wings in a foil pan with a sealed lid. Braise pig wings for 15-20 minutes, or until they fall off the bone tender.
12. Pig wings can be finished on your smoker, grill, oven, flat top or deep fryer.