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I am roasting a whole COW aka Francis Mallman style from Argentina

On April 15 several friends and I are roasting a cow over an open fire. I am also doing 5 labs and a goat ASADO. This is from the "7 Fires" Cookbook. You may have see Tony Bourdain do this on Travel Channel.

Has anyone on this board ever seen one done?

We have completed all the racks for the cow and the lambs. Close to 1000 +lbs of metal . I ill the cow Tuesday so it can age for 21 to 25 days. Any suggestions would be a appreaciated.

Jeff B Bannister

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  1. This dog lover is hoping that's an unfortunate typo.

    4 Replies
    1. re: 512window

      Scared me, too, until I read the next line.

      1. re: 512window

        Is there a word for being horrified and overcome with giggles at the same time? Maybe something in German?

      2. No suggestions. But I'd love to see pictures! And what type of side dish should I bring? LOL

        1. LAMBS!!!! LAMBS!!!!! sorry about that.

          2 Replies
            1. I don’t think you need our help. Francis Mallman is a wood fire god and you found him. What do you think of his book Seven Fires? Who are you feeding with this primal feast?

              15 Replies
              1. re: Woodfireguy

                AWESOME cook book. I wish I could attach pictures of the lamb and cow racks here. The cow rack same as the book. The lamb racks are even better.
                We expect a few hundred close friends to help eat it. We have about 18 people who will be with us for the whole 18 hour cooking. Though we only expect 8-10 to be sober at any one time.
                We are thinking abut a website and a live web cam. I have a few techie/foodies helping.

                1. re: JB BANNISTER

                  This is admirably ballsy. I, for one, would love to see a site, or at the very least an excruciatingly long and detailed post w/ pix. Go, man, go!

                  1. re: Spot

                    I have a facebook group set up. It has pics that are excruciatinly detailed as I had engineers working on this project. Friend me and let me know that you are from chowhound and I will add you to the group. Jeff Burl Bannister the FB pic is the same as my avitar

                    1. re: JB BANNISTER

                      Go for it. Set up a blog (There free) and I will link it with mine. You can attach a JPG on here if you want.

                      1. re: Woodfireguy

                        Here is picture of the Lamb Rack we made.

                        1. re: Woodfireguy

                          We have 5 made. They adjust to 4 differant positions to adjust for heat.

                          1. re: JB BANNISTER

                            I'm an engineer and I never to get work on cooking entire cows. . . my last few projects were less evil than usual but nothing so right as cooking a ludicrously large animal. Hell I would have worked on some drawings for a few slices of lamb.

                            1. re: j8715

                              We mostly need to know what the rack could hole with the metal we had and how much concrete to pour for the cow we had. Stuff was way over my head. All I ask was can it hold a 1200lbs cow? (Ours should be 700-1000lbs as we want to start small) and all I heard was Blah Blah Blah. And I said is that a yes? And it was.

                            2. re: JB BANNISTER

                              JB after reviewing how Francis is doing it I have a few comments.

                              The success of this procedure comes down to heat control. His gear has three way’s to do that. 1, The rack goes up and down over the flame. I did not see that in the picture you posted. 2, His rotates, I’m sure yours will do that…right? 3, He use’s a sheet of corrugated sheet metal to keep the heat on the Meat. That’s easy enough. If I were doing this I would use a two fire’s. One to cook the cow with and the second fire to feed coals to the cooking fire. You can also cook the Chimichurri on the second fire. This is not as hard as it looks once the rack is made. He makes a great point when he says trim the budging tissue and make appetizers out of it. It also keeps everything at on thickness for even cooking.

                              1. re: Woodfireguy

                                I bought the video from the Travel Channel. With that we were able to break it down frame by frame. (Remember we had at least 2 engineers on this). Chef Mallmon would have a hard time telling our rack from his. Our will do everything his does. I only wish I had an exact temp (like 350 degrees) listed. We have several laser thermometers and temp probes we will be using and we could REALLY regulate it if we had that temp,
                                I need to find that passage on "Budging Tissue" What page is that on? I will be cooking all Friday night for the helper and rec. people who show up to party.

                                1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                  Good. I read it again and I was wrong. He mentions that some parts require longer cooking when he says to start carving and serve with Chimichurri. My mistake.

                                  1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                    Your engineers should be able to tell you how much weight it can handle. How will you be manipulating the rack once all the weight is on? Up, down, around... can you flip it? Are you using a crane? That is a big animal to be doing on a flat surface. Are you splitting it?

                                    I have spit a pig and a goat. It was unwieldy once we cracked 100 pounds. You also have to consider that some of the parts like the back may cook faster than the rest of the animal so when you near doneness the ease with which you can maneuver the animal will really count.

                                    Also a rack that goes up and down on level works better than a tilt. I could not download your pic to look at it closely, but if you can manage that, it would be a plus.

                                    1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                      It is good enough for two people swing it around. A chain with a block and tackle will move it up and down. So far we have 10 men helping load the cow on the rack. Then we will mount the cow/rack on to the main beam.

                                      1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                        Yeah, I will be looking for your pictures post fest. I love the manmoxie!

                            3. re: JB BANNISTER

                              NO REASON TO FRIEND ME TO SEE GROUP. Search for Bovinova group on facebook. I have opened it up for all to see now that the event is passed.

                      2. This is fantastic. I agree that Seven Fires is the most amazing book, and I bet your roasting will be a big success. Please keep us updated with details and pics. As much as I love the book, I doubt I'll ever have an excuse to do a whole cow. I assume you have a big crowd to enjoy the final product.

                          1. Some feedback from our "Ox Roast " 22 years ago, when a group of golf buddies roasted a polled hereford:
                            1) You will lose all of your body hair in 24 hours
                            2) The heat from your coal bed will have you sweating like a lawn sprinkler after sunrise
                            3) You friends who claim they will be sober and alert for their middle of the night shift, won't be
                            4) You will be carving off done meat and exposing undercooked meat for at least the last 5 hours, as it should be, but it's hot there and you have to keep going back. That was the worst part.
                            5) We made our tossed salad in a 30 gallon plastic garbage can, which drew a few "eewws", but it was the best we could do
                            6) We had about 200 also, in a big field, pitch your tent for the weekend party. We had a flatbed trailer for a couple bands, 4 portolets, a refrigerated truck for the beer kegs, and a diesel generator, in Lackawanna County, PA, in August. Everyone was very good about leaving it spotless, and nobody got caught or killed.
                            7) Once was enough for me.

                            18 Replies
                            1. re: Veggo

                              1-4 I agree with.
                              5 is BS as there will be no salad served. This is a "Meat Fest" and only beans and slaw will be there for the Veg People.
                              6 Got it covered.
                              7 disagree we have to much $$$ for a one time deal. Twice will cut our lose in half.

                              1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                Our gig cost about $6K, offset by about $1500 in contributions, so $450 for each of 10 hosts, 22 years ago. For entertainment, the stoners wanted knights on horseback jousting, but that was going to be $3500. The bonfire got nixed by the FD. We did get a major musician, pro bono, who was lying low in the Poconos that summer who befriended us and vice versa.
                                JBB, how / where do you plan to age the beef? Commercial refrigerator I assume? If you dry age it, it completely changes your cooking calculus for the loss of water content, but you know that.
                                Skip the raccoon, you'll be busy enough.

                                1. re: Veggo

                                  The meat processor was so interested in this that he is going to age it for us AND let us in to put our spice rub on AND inject it with some spices a few day before the event. He also said I can be the one to dispatch it if I want. (Should happen this Wednesday) He just asked for a few passes to the event. The cost for the whole cow was $1.29 a pound. We had people offer to contribute but we (4 of us) did not want lose any control od the event. Web cam, band, fire blower all just wanted to be invited.

                                  1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                    Were you able to get grass-fed, hormone-free beef?

                                  2. re: Veggo

                                    Dang Veggo! Wish I had known about that then! I didn't live that far away. My middle ages/renaissance group would have put on a tourney for you just for the food!

                                2. re: Veggo

                                  Geez Louise, wish I'd been there, Veg.

                                  @OP, what kinda "cow." And only one goat???

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    I am only doing 1 goat as I know less about cooking it some people will have a problem with eating a goat. I have heard that I MIGHT get a racoon that I can cook but it will be mostly for show.

                                    1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                      Goat tastes great though I've only cooked a leg or two. I bet it won't be the last one you do. Racoon? From the 'wild'? Might not be real tasty but I guess it depends whose garbage cans it's been raiding. jfood's garbage sounds very appealing :)

                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        Can you get the non-'wild' variety?

                                          1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                            Raccoons are in the bear family or order (whatever it is called). Also they are related to canines, but closer to a bear. I wonder if raccoons taste like bear. I have not eaten a lot of bear, but it was some tough meat. Make sure the coon does not have rabies. I do not suggest armadillos. All bones. : )

                                            1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                              I just had armadillo fillet in Guatemala...not bad...good actually.

                                              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                bear and coon are both subject to trichinosis. make sure its not 'rare'

                                            2. re: porker

                                              Tongue firmly inplanted in cheek :) I'm bettin' they don't have grass fed racoons. But plenty of free ranging ones.

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          "<Geez Louise, wish I'd been there, Veg.">

                                          OMG...moi aussi.

                                        2. re: Veggo

                                          So good to hear someone planning an event remembers the portapots and salad (not in the same place mind you).

                                          My husband and a couple of his friends decide it is pig or goat or some other kill roasting time and plan and get up early and engineer all sorts of rigs for their meat and ways to keep the beer cold but EVERY time forget people pee and want veggies.

                                          Last year we bought a fryer (A GIANT one) for fries and hushpuppies and onion rings and... well, I would advise against that.

                                          This year we are having a bluegrass festival of sorts with one of our neighbors. I heard the two men chatting about it - mainly my husbands ideas about some Australian grill he had in mind to construct. And he was telling him they needed to start work on the pig caskets.

                                          I see another hairless arm summer for him.

                                          Garbage cans are a great idea. We make coleslaw and salsa in them.

                                          1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                            Everything we cook has to be over an open fire. No gas or Kingsford allowed.

                                        3. I have to say that is one hell of a project - I hope we get to see some pics of the end results.

                                          The only method I really know of for such a large animal is the traditional Australian Aboriginal way of burying it in hot ashes to cook. Much like the Maori method, hungi.

                                          Seriously cool project, all the best!

                                          1. And who is whipping up the 100 gallons or so of home made BBQ sauce? Sounds fantastic. The last time I ate from a whole roasted steer was about 50 years ago. I was the maid of honor at my best friends wedding, and for the reception her dad roasted two steers, three pigs, countless chickens and there were two barrels of potato salad. She had her heart set on a small reception. Get yourself a bunch of kegs of beer and a Swiss/German Oompah band and you can have dancing too! Or maybe just some mariachis? '-)

                                            Have a BLAST, but that sounds guaranteed!

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                              Beans? Slaw? BBQ sauce?

                                              My Argentinean friends would die, then turn over in their graves.

                                              1. re: KansasKate

                                                We will have slaw. I have been working on my bean recipe all weekend. I have a 21' Maca Dutch oven and I think I can do beans for 200+ in that one. It weighs 186 lbs empty.

                                            2. JB, I'm curious to know if this party is to mark a particular occasion-- other than April 15, tax day?
                                              And is South Carolina safe from spring showers in mid-April?
                                              And do you have a plan for the meat that's left over--to package and refrigerate it--oh I guess the guests can simply take it home. Any dessert?
                                              This will be fun to follow!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: blue room

                                                No real occasion. We were just bored and wanted to see if we could pull it off. But we have turned it into a Employee /Customer Appreaciation type of event.
                                                We have Huge tents ready for rain and we should be able build a shed over the fires in a hurry if rain looks like it will happen.

                                              2. I'm following with rapt attention. This is so interesting! Good luck with everything.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: Gio

                                                  Thanks everyone for your input and for letting me throw you in the Facebook group. I have really enjoyed the interaction.
                                                  Is anyone willing to make a trip to Greenville SC for this? Maybe I will give a pass or two to someone so they can attend.
                                                  The only stipulation is YOU HAVE to tell me the "good, the bad and the ugly" about the event.

                                                  1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                    Too close to our Rio trip but I'll be with you in spirit. This sounds like the ultimate Chowhound event. Just take a picture of a big piece of crispy skin and post :) Mmmm.

                                                    1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                      A dear friend of mine from Argentina lives in NC and her birthday is April 15.

                                                      1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                        JB...I have a funny feeling it's All going to be Good, including the missteps which will henceforth be called Learning Experiences.

                                                    2. I've seen a pig, a goat, and a hind quarter of a steer done (3 separate occasions.) The hind quarter took a lot longer than expected, good thing there was a large kiawe tree (a variety of mesquite) next door that needed some serious trimming. At each event it all seemed to be about controlling the fire. No one at any of the events who was in charge of tending the fire appeared sober at any time. Apparently there is a ritualistic aspect here. Looking forward to your postings about the ongoing preparations and the final event!

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                        "No one at any of the events who was in charge of tending the fire appeared sober at any time. "

                                                        Sounds like Veggo's group :)

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          We need a "like" button like facebook.

                                                      2. JB, you are my current hero.
                                                        I started doing a yearly whole hog awhile back and the natural progression seemed to be cow (or camel), but the logistics are overwhelming, even for a calf...
                                                        Looking forward to seeing the ensuing hijinx and convivialities!

                                                        Would varmint be considered as a coon substitute?

                                                        1. I've been to Argentina and Uruguay many times, so of course I've seen this. Naturally, I've never done it myself because (much like here) grilling is men's work. We women stay in the kitchen making chimichurri. :-)

                                                          ¡Buena suerte y buen provecho!

                                                          Edit: BTW, for big family cookouts, most Argentineans cook the meat on a parrilla, a really well-designed (and much cheaper) grill.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: KansasKate

                                                            I am working on one now. I hope to have it ready/

                                                          2. I need a good marinade for the goat. ANY IDEAS?

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                              When I had goat, it was lean and stringy. Based on that, I'd probably try to get some oil and yogurt into the marinade, if that's practical for a roasted goat.

                                                              1. re: jvanderh

                                                                A friend in BsAs just replied to my request for recipes, which I've translated:

                                                                This is the very simple way I do it:
                                                                Rub/baste both sides with olive oil and minced rosemary.
                                                                Don't salt it. Begin cooking w/ ribs towards the heat source.
                                                                But after you turn it 180° then you mist it with salmuera (Kosher or sea salt disolved in water) or use a sprig of rosemary to apply the salmuera.

                                                                Another option is to use chimichurri on both sides. When making chimichurri, mix the ingredients in the vinagre then slowly add the evoo to create an emulsion.

                                                                This guy is a great cook, so I would do just as he says. If you're doing two, maybe one of each?

                                                                1. re: KansasKate

                                                                  Perfect just what I needed. Thanks so much!

                                                                  1. re: KansasKate

                                                                    This what I did except. I basted with red wine (trader joes) and sprinkled with salt toward the end.

                                                                2. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                                  You could do a mojo style marinade. That involves olive oil, orange, lemon and lime juice, oregano, garlic, onion and S & P.

                                                                  1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                    This is close to the lamb marinade. I have decide to do one lamb with only salt, pepper and lime juice.
                                                                    I like the idea of doing more goats next time as they are $50 cheaper than lambs.

                                                                3. I have no advice, but didn't want to say Godspeed sir, you are a hero to me.

                                                                    1. Just a quick update on the goings on. The cow (named SPICE RUB) will be dispatched Monday.

                                                                      And I also had a great interview with a writer for the Wall Street Journal that is pitching it to her editors. The cool thing is she has eaten at MALLMANN's place in Uruguay where this is done. She was very nice and said she would love to attend.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                                          Curious how cool events become magnets for unexpected high-profilers. E-mail me and I'll tell you who our musical act was at the Ox Roast, and what it included, but here I continue to respect privacy even though it was not asked for at the time.
                                                                          At my first pig roast I did the "dispatch" and I gave her the sporting count of 10 to run, but she took it like a ?. A bit haunting, but the beat goes on.

                                                                        2. I wish I was your friend. This is freaking awesome!

                                                                          "We have several laser thermometers" The fact that you have SEVERAL makes me giggle. You do realize everyone will be fighting over them.

                                                                          1. I noticed that I had a post removed so I may have violated some rules. Sorry about that. For those of you who have ffriended me it is on the BOVINE ROAST page.

                                                                            1. JB B, get a a sword you can really put an edge on.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                                Did I mention swords? How did you know?

                                                                              2. I realized today after being told i have violated Chowhound Posting Etiquette. I am sorry about that I got a little carried away as we are coming down to the wire and many things are coming together. Just for general there will be NO MONEY made from this event. It just and MEAT/BEER fest. Thank to everyone who has offered support and advice. I hope in 18day I will be an expert in doing this.
                                                                                Thanks again to everyone and to CHOW HOUND for having and allowing a great food forum.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                                                  Damn I wish this computer had spell and grammer check

                                                                                2. The cow is dead. "Spice Rub" gave his life so we must do him justice by give a crisp and somewhat salty crust.

                                                                                  1. Here is the cow rack before the test.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                                                      I´m in Mexico now getting some hammock time, but my mental math indicates that a salty crust on a cow penetrates to the same depth as the earth´s atmosphere to the planet, or the thickness of a basketball to it´s volume.
                                                                                      There is work to be done, layer by painful layer.
                                                                                      Dial up Procol Harum´s ¨Still there´ll be more¨ to find out how you will feel the day after..
                                                                                      cheers. Veg

                                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                                        Apparently they have good sh*t in Mexico - haha!

                                                                                    2. You are roasting five Labrador Retrievers? Say it ain't so.

                                                                                      1. I lived in Argentina as a girl, long ago and, come to think of it, pictures are show of gauchos holding a big piece of roast cow with the fur still on---they chomp down on it with their teeth and then cut the bite loose with their knives. So you won't be needing silverware. Just a big garbage can to receive the fur after people eat all the meat off it. Buen provecho.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. but seriously..... the mod's have let this ride under "home cooking" for a month? LOL

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                            Well, you probably couldn´t do it at most high rise apartments, so home cooking seems about right.

                                                                                          2. Here is look at the rack to give you an idea on size. We are testing the cooking method this weekend for the lamb. We are really coming down to the wire.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                                                              That contraption would be great for smoking a pair of marlin when the billfish are running here in the Yucatan in May!

                                                                                            2. Just Awesome!!!
                                                                                              How does one get invited? :-)

                                                                                              1. Had a small test run tonight. Here is a picture of the lamb and the book that started all this. I also did a paella cause I have never done one over an open fire. This type of cooking was much easier than I thought. With the exception of a few burns I got it went off with out a hitch.

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                                                                    I hope your April 02 9:10am picture and 10:10pm pictures aren't "before and after"....

                                                                                                  2. Today is the cow roast. If you want to watch you can go to my profile and get the URL. Expecting heavy rain and lighting tonight.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                                                                      Good luck in this project. I feel very sorry for you and the other participants that the weather is worrisome.

                                                                                                    2. Looks like a nice sunny afternoon, albeit a bit breezy. Where's the beer? Everyone has their arms at their sides, and the portolets are goin' beggin'. And everyone is wearing jeans, are shorts illegal in South Carolina?
                                                                                                      I wish I had a scratch and sniff feature, it's all probably starting to smell pretty good about now!

                                                                                                      1. JB, we gots to know! Thousands here are emotionally invested !!

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. Ok so the weather was bad, REAL BAD. That storm killed 30 people in nearby states. It was hell keeping it going and I had a little hypothermia around 3:30 am. The cow caught on fire 3 times BUT we were able to recover. I was dissapointed in how it looked BUT the meat was great. Also the lambs and goat were awesome. Champagne and goat kidneys and goat liver were for breakafast that morning. I also you should be able to go on facebook and search for BOVINOVA and see the page as I made it public this morning.
                                                                                                          Below are some before and after pictures. We have A LOT of rub on the cow.

                                                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                                                                            A round of clicks for a Promethian effort!

                                                                                                            1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                                                                              Bravo, Jeff. Too bad about the weather, but what an undertaking. To take just one aspect of many: how many people can look back on an outdoor cookout and recall that the cow caught on fire three times but still turned out great!

                                                                                                              1. re: Bada Bing

                                                                                                                I'm so sore I can hardly walk. Woke up Friday around 6am went to bad Saturday night 10pm. Today we clean equipment. Advil, Advil, Advil oh how I love you so.

                                                                                                                1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                                                                                  I warned you. I'll e-mail you shortly about how my doc fixed me up after the ox roast, and you did 4 times the work that I did. Cheers again, comrade in arms (and split hoofed animals) !
                                                                                                                  Keep remembering through the pain that you made a lot of people happy.

                                                                                                                2. re: Bada Bing


                                                                                                                  JBB - will this be an annual event?

                                                                                                                  1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                                                    Not sure yet. I hope we can turn it into a fund raiser. Total cost so far have to exceed $12k

                                                                                                                3. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                                                                                  A fine effort, especially given the weather situation.

                                                                                                                  1. re: TheHuntress

                                                                                                                    I joined this board just so I could post this. JBB asked me several months ago to help with the design and building of this monstrosity of a rack to roast a cow. Needless to say I was excited about the concept and was honored to be asked to have a hand in the design/construction of this ginormous thing. JBB had a vision and I must say that ALL the people involved pulled this of with amazing effort and despite the nasty weather we endured, the sun came out right at serving time and it was AWESOME! 250+ people showed up to marvel at the rig and enjoy a (finally) sunny afternoon of great food, live music and fun. He made a wicked Paella too! That was my favorite but I was so busy tending the fire and other sorted tasks that I (regrettably) didn't even taste the cow but the Paella more than made up for it. The goat was great! Labs (LOL) we also good....uh umm, lambs rather.

                                                                                                                    Since my primary task was the design and construction of the rack I didn't have much to do with the food prep but all who were did a fantastic job. It's amazing that a bunch of guys, who's six degrees of separation seems to be cigars in this case, can come together and take on a project of this scale and knock it out of the park.

                                                                                                                    Thanks for having me on board Jeff, it was an adventure, a bit of history and a damn good time!

                                                                                                                    1. re: Sporter99

                                                                                                                      Sean everything you did was awesome. i feel like I have gained a friend that will be with me for life. We could not have done it without your brain and effort. Now lets make a portable rack.

                                                                                                                      1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                                                                                        Same here brother, this was a great idea and I'm quite sure that it went so well that there will be MANY more events to come! Oh, and not only is the design on a mobile unit coming but I have a design in my head for a DUAL COW RACK MOBILE UNIT!!!!! Muuhahahahahaha!!!!!! Mallman would freak!

                                                                                                                    2. re: TheHuntress

                                                                                                                      That storm we cooked through killed 45 people and spawned 150 tornados. NO BS.

                                                                                                                  2. I have enjoyed reading every little word you wrote about this awesome event. JBB. Well done you and your crew... Personally, I wish I coulda been there

                                                                                                                    1. I have had people ask to join the facebook group. I have now made it an "open" group. Just search for Bovinova and it should turn up. Thank you everyone for your kind words and support. We had a great group that made this possible.

                                                                                                                      1. The fat on the cow caused a fire. (The cook book neglected telling us this would happen. It happened THREE TIMES!!!) Here is the link. I hope the MODS let me post it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSV9Al...

                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                                                                                          That happens with pigs all the time, during the first half of the roast while the fat is burning off. That's why it's important to have someone on duty at every moment who is more awake than some air traffic controllers. I didn't say sober, just awake.

                                                                                                                          1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                                                                                            What would you have done different to prevent the huge flare-ups?

                                                                                                                            1. re: Woodfireguy

                                                                                                                              Let the cow rest higher at an angle over the fire so the fat would run down and off away from the fire. Then lower it over an EMBERS ONLY fire. I did not mind the first fire as it seared the spices and made a great crust but the other two did bother me.. The rack was designed to let the cow lay an angle for cooking but we were not able to because of the rain.

                                                                                                                            2. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                                                                                              You wrote that you basted with wine. That would cause a fire.

                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                Wine is not flamable and it was mixed with a very strong salty water in a 50/50. Just a lot of fat. We need to have it higher and at an angle next year.

                                                                                                                                1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                                                                                                  Thank you. You "basted" with 50/50 wine and salt water? I'm curious about the goal. I've never heard of a basting sauce that had no oil in it. Doesn't wine and water just run off?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                    Not really it made a very nice crust. The cookbook just wanted us to use salt water but I wanted more flavor in the crust.

                                                                                                                            3. I just got a call from the Wall Street Journal and it should be on the front page tomorrow.

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                                                                                                                              1. Wow do you have any pictures of this? I mean more than what is on here. What a project for heavens sake! Awesome.

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                                                                                                                                1. re: oana

                                                                                                                                  There is a lot of pictures on facebook. Do a seach for Bovinova and there is a group. It is now an open group so you can see all the photos.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: JB BANNISTER

                                                                                                                                    Cool. On my way to look. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                2. I found some pictures on my phone that I thought you would be interested in.