Hugo's Dinner at Flanagan's Table

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We were recently fortunate to accompany Arlin Smith, Mike Wiley and Andrew Taylor—our friends, clients and the owners of Hugo's Restaurant—to a Flanagan’s Table dinner event out in Buxton, Maine.

The monthly dinners take place at The Barn at Flanagan Farm, feature a five course meal provided by different chefs, and they benefit the Maine Farmland Trust. Alexandra Collins Wight, founder of the event, told us that the guys at Hugo's have been huge supporters of theirs since the beginning. In addition to fare prepared by the aforementioned gentlemen, the folks from Limerick, Maine based Gneiss Brewing Company had donated some kegs of their delicious beer to the event, and donuts by The Holy Donut were handed to guests on their way out the door.

We caught up with Chef Mike Wiley and asked him about the pig that was being served as the main course.

We got in this beautiful 38-pound suckling pig from South Royalton—or "SoRo" in the local parlance. So the SoRo swine was butterflied and then Andrew [Taylor] pulled out all of the bones, the ribs and the spine, so from its neck all the way down to its tail it is totally boneless. He then made an almost Thai style sausage farce using some Maine pork shoulders. We filled it with that. We then took as much of a broom handle as would be required to run through the pig and wrapped it with 6 layers of plastic wrap [note: to be removed later] and we ran it through the farce so that we would have a channel that the spit would go through after we attended other parts of its preparation.

We then took red snapper hotdogs and we laid those in there as well. So there is an interior garnish of those… very Maine chic.

Then we took a cooler and filled it with hot water. We took two immersion circulators, which control the water bath temperature, and we strapped those onto the side of the cooler. We wrapped this guy  up in 5 garbage bags and sunk him in there, poaching him for 6 hours or so, so it is all cooked. All we are trying to do right now is to get this guy just disgustingly crispy.

For more information on Flanagan's Table, visit their website here.