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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Post Hole Diggers, Fencing Pliers and Banana Leaves....

Who could resist that combo? :)

This was one of those "I don't really feel like cooking" and " I want to see how banana leaves will do" days.
I found some banana leaves by chance in the grocery store the other day and decided to give them a try. I usually use wet burlap and foil while Cooking Underground

Strange how it's more fun to use post hole diggers for cooking than for setting posts. :)
I dug the hole the day before to save time...

I used talented smoking friend Jon's, apple injection ...and let the pork chill overnight..

cleaned the leaves, gave the hunka pork a rub with smoking friend Grady's Gourmet Grub Rub

Used some fencing pliers to tie up the bundle with baling wire...

burned enough wood to get a 6 to 8 inch deep bed of hot coals...

added the wrapped hunka pork... attached a long piece of baling wire for easy lifting when the meat was cooked.

placed a metal lid on the hole..

then buried with dirt...making sure no smoke escapes and no air gets in..

Uncovered after 8 hrs in the ground... the leaves looked fairly dark but the meat was nice and juicy.

It was sooo tender and tasty. :)

I heated the wok... sauteed a few wild onions, green onions and garlic....then heated some tortillas.

This was self serve style...

I love these plateless meals... :)

I think they were happy that chicken and guinea weren't on the menu.

Loved the pork, it was very juicy and tender with a nice smoke flavor from the wood. The banana leaves worked fine but I didn't see a benefit to using them. Since they aren't readily available to me I'll stick with the old way in the future.

It looks like a lot of work but it's actually easier than cooking a whole meal. :)


LindaG said...

You are just so talented. :)

jmk3911 said...

Hey Jeanie that looks like a great meal and a fun way to cook it. BTW,my grandmother had Guinea Hens and they were the best watch dogs anyone could want---what a racket they make!!

Big Dude said...

Damn you're industrious, but I can't imagine cooking it in a hole makes it worth the dig, but if you do, perhaps nyou should comsider one of these with the backhoe and posthole digger.

Old Smoke said...

Great lookig "finger food".
Currently holes around here are full of water, starting a fire is a REAL challenge :)

cowgirl said...

Linda you are so kind..thank you!! :)

cowgirl said...

John thank you! Aren't guineas loud. :)
They really get loud in the evening when getting ready to roost...
They do let me know when they corner a snake though.
Thanks again John. :)

cowgirl said...

Haha.. Larry, I would love to have one of those. :)
I did think about using the little ford tractor and post hole digger but this was such a shallow hole.
It was fun. :)
Thanks Larry! :)

cowgirl said...

Hey Rick thanks! Hope you are feeling better.
Could you send some of that rain this way please? :)

Anonymous said...


I'm sure most of us come here because you're such an awesome cook, but the last pic in this post reminds me once again that you are also a really good photographer -- beautiful composition!

I agree that the "hunka" pork is one of the tastiest cuts. ;-)

Thanks again for keeping us all so fat and happy!

cowgirl said...

Wow ChezJake, that is nice of you to say.
Thank you! :)

yeah... the hunka pork is the best cut. :)

Kevin L. said...

OK, now your just showing off!
I mean that's pretty darn fancy.
All this time I got the impression you was just a simple country Girl.
But nope, not at all...
You gotcha fence pliers with cushioned, fancy grips!

God bless-K

Papasmurph said...

Love the underground cooking. GREAT IDEA. and looks delicious.
Me think I have another project this summer, Except I have a backhoe so it may be an easy project.

cowgirl said...

lol Kevin!! I was showing them off.
They are my best fencing pliers. lol
Thanks. :)

cowgirl said...

PapaSmurph a backhoe would be so handy! :)
If you do a cook, let me know how it goes. :)

Marc van der Wouw said...

This looks so under the ground!! It is so much fun to do something like this....I'm not sure if we can do this at my home;-)

Dick said...

Do you know the Yucatecan dish "cochinita pibil"? It's marinated pork wrapped in banana leaves and pit-roasted. There's a pretty good writeup of the classic form in the "Mexico: Food, Drinks & More!!" blog under "Cochinita Pibil Recipe" ( It's really good stuff and sounds like it would be just your style.

cowgirl said...

Thank you Marc! It was a lot of fun. Hope you get to try it sometime. :)

cowgirl said...

Dick thanks so much for the link! I've not tried that but it looks so good!
Thank you. :)

tony said...

cowgirl.. love ur site, its so fun reading ur blog...
can u use tin foil or cheesecloth to put pork butt in ground if u dont have access to those leaves? or that wont work?
thanks again!

Mrs. JP said...

Wow, that looks'd you know the meat was up to temp and the fire was hot enough? no, oxygen could get to the coals!!! I'm sitting here just wondering LOL BUT it looks so delish

Phil said...

Nice! I went camping the last 2 days and while setting around my fire, "what a waste of coals". I've thought of cooking a whole pig, but never just smaller cuts.. DUH! I'll have to try it!

cowgirl said...

Thank you Tony! I appreciate you stopping by my blog.
You definately can just use foil. I do it all the time. It works great and the meat still takes on a nice smoke flavor from the wood.

Hard woods are best to use..they will burn longer.
Good luck!

cowgirl said...

Thank you Mrs JP!
I've cooked this way for a long time and have figured out about how much time to allow.
A chicken takes about 4 hours.. a turkey 8 hours. Briskets depend on the size.
You need a deep bed of hot coals (hardwood coals) they will last through the whole cook. (and not need any oxygen)
If you let air get into the hole the food will burn or flair up.
So you need to make sure it's buried good.

(hope that makes sense)

The meat is so tender and juicy.

Thanks again!

cowgirl said...

Dang it Phil...where did you go camping? I'm jealous.. lol
Just talked about going camping this next week.. the weather has been so beautiful.
Thanks Phil!

Anonymous said...

I don't know, it didn't look all that great to me... Lol just kiddin as always that look's great. i think the hawaian's soak their leaves in cocoanut milk for awhile first. surf's up babe later...Bud

Chris said...

You absolutely rock 100%, J. What a great tutorial.

cowgirl said...

Haha Bud! Can't believe you are going surfing. :)

cowgirl said... are so kind. Thanks for that! :)

Anonymous said...

OMG all this looks soooooo good I love cooking things in banana leaves!So glad you posted this gave me some great ideas!!

cowgirl said...

Thank you Kinky Kitchen! I hope you get out some post hole diggers and give this a try. :)
Let me know if you do!

Krogers3 said...

I love you ideas, you are so very creative. You need your own cooking show...I'm just not sure what channel it would be best on. :~) Outdoor, hunting, fishing... Love it!

cowgirl said...

Thanks Krogers3! I would love to have a show like Steven Rinella on "The Wild Within". He gets to travel, hunt, fish and outdoor cook...and he gets paid for it!
That would be my dream job. :)

Unknown said...

Try collard greens - easier to find than banana leaves and they add a bit of southern flavor.

cowgirl said...

Hi Spudwrench! I love collards wrapped around sausage then smoked.. it might take a few to wrap a pork shoulder but it would be worth a try. Thanks!