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Cooking frames Once the meat is fixed to its spit, you’ll need something to support it. Simple piles of rocks or forked sticks will do when camping, but something altogether more grown-up is necessary for anything more serious than a rabbit. Metal poles, either on firm bases or driven into the ground, will support the weight and are even more convenient if there’s an easy way to adjust the height. A series of stepped hooks or rests is a good start. In South American asado cooking, whole pigs, sheep or goats are opened out along the thorax and attached to metal cross-frames which are propped vertically around a central fire. In this case, flames can pass straight up without catching the meat, while the radiant heat does its work and a certain amount of light smoking takes place. As the fire burns lower, the frames are angled down lower over the coals. Asado refers not only to the method of cooking but also to the social event, a family gathering lasting the whole day and into the evening, where everyone participates in the long cooking, snacking on smaller things like sausages or grilled kidneys to stave off hunger pangs and gently maintaining the atmosphere with chilled beer until the big meat is ready. If there is a spiritual home of fire cooking it’s surely neither Bondi Beach nor the American suburban backyard but somewhere out on the grasslands of Argentina.

31 Your butcher will be happy to supply a whole lamb, pig or goat given sufficient notice. The only special preparation required of him will be to partially split the spine along the inside of the ribcage. This means that the carcass can be opened out like a book. It’s not necessary to split the spine further towards the tail, as there’s plenty of flex in the hip joints. If you don’t think your veterinary physiology is up to it, you can also ask your butcher to point out the places around the hamstrings that are strong enough to support the whole carcass, which you’ll need to know in order to wire it to the frame.

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Tim Hayward - Food DIY  

Over recent years, across much of the world, people have started rejecting shop bought food and are getting into making it themselves. The D...