Have the butcher remove the
head (freeze it and save it for soup), and clean out the body
Wash the carcass under running
water and drain well. Lay it out on a large clean surface.
Sprinkle it, inside and out with salt, pepper and cumin. At
this point, I recommend wrapping it up and refrigerating it
over night for the meat to absorb the spices.
On cooking day, attach the
carcass to the spit. You will have to spear through its rear
end and come up through the neck, so the length of it is
stretched out along the spit. Tie the legs, neck and forearms
down tight. I use a fine grade aluminum wire that is available
at hardware stores and pliers. You have to get the meat
secured on the spit so that it turns evenly, without slipping
while cooking. I also pass some wire through the body cavity
and out the back of the meat at the spine and tie it to the
spit from there as well, making it that much more secure. Make
it tight – remember as it cooks, it will shrink.
When you are finished securing
it, sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese inside the body cavity and
out, all over it. Using some more wire, ‘sew’ up the cavity.
Place the spit over the coals.
You want to roast it slowly over low heat, for maybe 3 or 4
hours. If you have an electric spit, great. If you have a hand
turned one, make sure that you keep the cook in plenty of beer
for the duration!
In a bowl, mix the melted
butter, oil, salt and pepper, cumin and a dash of Parmesan
cheese. On a long fork, spear the lemon half. You will be
using it as a brush for the meat. Dip the lemon in the butter
marinade and brush the meat while it is turning over the
coals. Obviously, the more you do this, the better the meat.
Replace the lemon half with a fresh one as it gets worn.
Check on the thickest part of
the meat for doneness – I pierce the thigh. When it’s cooked,
remove it from the spit. Remove all the wire and cut into
serving size pieces. Serve it immediately.
Other than a Holiday main course, we’ve had this as a picnic
cookout sort of thing. It’s great for a crowd and you can just
stand around and eat right off the spit.