story & photos
by Alexis Ann
The CT MooseRiders held their 6th Annual Pig Roast Cook-off at The Bozrah Moose Lodge on August 21. The event raised more than $4,000 and the money is used throughout the year to help various local charities and those in the community who are in need. I enjoyed the opportunity to judge the winning pig and what a wonderful tradition to help the Bozrah community!
Herb Burt, District 1 president, The Connecticut Moose Association, said, “Mark Pierce, the president of Bozrah’s Moose Lodge, began this tradition seven years ago. Mark took one year to plan the fundraiser, before the very first Pig Roast was held. He put in a lot of time and effort to raise money and help families.”
This year, the Pig Roast featured five teams, with each team cooking their own pig. The five teams were the Contemporary Computer Consultants, the Moose Lodge team, defending champions, the Hartford Moose Club, Team Salem Prime Cuts and the Midnight Beef team. Each team worked incredibly hard to cook their best and most delicious pig to present to the judges.
The pigs were tasted by a large panel of judges, a few, included myself, State Representative Kevin Ryan, State Senator Edith Prauge, Montville Mayor Joe Jaskiewicz, Governor Candidate Dan Malloy (D) and Bozrah First Selectman Bill Ballinger.
All six teams cooked a great pig but the team to clinch first place was the all-female team Contemporary Computer Consultants.
Team member Heidi Burt said, “Our pig weighed 200 lbs. and we started cooking the day before at 10 pm. We finished the next afternoon at three. We took several steps in preparing our pig and without divulging our secrets, let’s just say the pig was marinated and seasoned with an abundance of spices and then wrapped in banana leaves prior to us steaming the pig. We ordered the banana leaves online and they worked out amazingly. We won by taking 14 votes out of 21. We are all very proud and plan on doing this again next year on August 20th, 2011.”
Brent Towle, the Hartford Moose Club, said, “Our pig weighed approximately 220 lbs. and we started cooking it at midnight, the night before the competition. As for the special sauce, I cannot say because Gerry Grate, our head chef, keeps it a family secret.” Each team has their own special methods for cooking their pig and their top secret mixtures bring out the best flavor.
Bruce Canova, Salem Prime Cuts, cooking the largest pig of them all, exclaimed, “Our pig was 240 lbs, from Salem Prime Cuts! We started cooking at 2:30am and injected the pig with our own juice mix, rubbed different spices on the inside and stuffed the chest cavity with sliced apples.” Yum!
The pig roast competition was such a success; this year’s fundraiser brought more than 400 people. Each person paid $10, enjoying some mouth-watering pork, and every year the Pig Roast continues to grow and gain popularity. This annual tradition is a tremendous event for the community and leaves everyone waiting in anticipation for next year!