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Dec 9, 2010 09:39 AM

Whole Animals

Does anyone here know where I could find either 1) a whole lamb, 2) a whole goat, or 3) a whole pig. A friend built a cabrito pit and we want to roast a whole animal and I'm looking for recommendations for places that have good and reasonably priced whole animals available. Anyone?

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  1. I know you can get a lamb at Phoenicia market. (I'm starting to sound like a broken record!)

    Most carnicerias can get you a kid, and probably a pig.

    I can't wait to read your post on the meal.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DoobieWah

      You might try these two places, side-by-side on Old Richmond Road.

      I've never stopped in, just driven by. I had the impression from the signage one was actually a slaughterhouse and the other more of a produce place but I don't know.

      Edit: Whoops, I meant to post this in response to the original post.

    2. Try Pete's Fine Meats on Richmond near the Galleria.

      1. The HEB near me will get sucking pigs on request. (24hr notice)

        1. It isn't open yet, but I'd expect that once it opens, you'll be able to get or order a whole carcass at Revival Market in the Heights, given that their sister operation, Revival Meats presently supplies premium whole animals to restaurants such as Catalan, Feast.

          1 Reply
          1. re: grbroderick

            Thanks for the advice everyone. As requested, here is the follow up post on how it all went. I ended up going with Phonecia because you can just walk in and buy a lamb with no advance warning. They said they go through quite a few of them a day and so they always have fresh ones available. It was about $5.80/lb for whole lambs and they ranged in size from under 30 lbs to over 40 lbs. They said they could get a bigger or smaller lamb, but they would need a few days warning. I think you could probably find cheaper lamb in Houston if you had time to look around. I found some on craigslist, but didn't have time to follow up on them. (Has anyone here ever bought meat on craigslist? I find it very tempting, but also slightly frightening)

            The lamb came whole with no offal, head, or feet. It looked a lot like a greyhound. We cooked it in a pit in my friends backyard. He dug a 4'x4'x2' hole and built a huge fire in it. While the fire was burning, we prepped the lamb by rubbing it with salt, pepper, chili paste, and lemons. Then we wrapped it in a couple of layers of tin foil, a layer of wet burlap, and some chicken wire. When the fire had burned all the way down to a thick bed of coals (it took a lot of wood and a lot of beer to do this, we burned through an entire pick-up bed full, which may or may not have been overkill) we threw the whole package onto the coals and buried it with the dirt from the pit. We also threw in a whole turkey (same rub) and a pork shoulder (orange, miso, garlic rub) prepped in the same way, because how often do you have a giant pit of coals to cook stuff in?

            We left the pit alone for about 13 hours. That part was boring, spit roasting definitely gives you way more to look at. In the meantime we made some sides and drank some beer. After 13 hours we dug it all up. The dirt wasn't that hot and we were really worried that we had just spent 13 hours and invited all of our friends over to watch us dig up some raw meat, but it was all cooked beautifully. The lamb and pork were really really juicy, and the turkey was falling apart tender. While it was all cooked, the lamb was still pink in places and could have easily been left in for a lot longer. Also, I think if you could find some rocks to line your pit with you could probably use less fuel. The whole thing was really fun and we are already thinking about what to bury next.