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King of the Hill

Glazed Elf

by Avian

Dis iz a very tasty dish, but it takes a bluddy lot of time to prepare. Fer da meat, try to get a young elf cub. Dey're much more sukkulent dann da older wunz, though all skinnies are mighty tasty.


Active time: 30 min
Start to finish: 1 1/2 days

Serves 1 orc (or four others)

For brining elf
4 quarts water
1 cup sugar
1 cup table salt
30 whole cloves
4 whole nutmegs, cracked
1 (8- to 10-lb) bone-in shank-end fresh elf (dead), skinned and trimmed of all but a thin layer of fat

For spice rub
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
4 teaspoons cumin seeds
4 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
4 teaspoons paprika
4 teaspoons kosher salt

For glaze
4 cups dark rum
1/4 cup molasses (preferably mildly flavored)
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

Brine elf: Bring all brining ingredients except the elf meat to a boil in a deep 8- to 9-quart pot, stirring occasionally until sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat and add meat. (Brine should cover meat; if not, make more brine.) Cool mixture 30 minutes, then chill, covered, turning elf meat once or twice, at least 1 day and up to 2.

Prepare grill for cooking using enough hardwood charcoal to fill a charcoal chimney. When coals are ready, push them to one side of grill, leaving about two thirds of grill without coals. Put a drip pan opposite coals.

Make spice rub and cook elf: Finely grind all spice-rub ingredients together.

Drain elf and pat dry. Rub ground spices all over the meat.

Place elf on grill rack, fatty side up, over drip pan. Cover grill, leaving cover vents one fourth open and bottom vents fully open, and cook elf, adding a large handful of charcoal every 30 minutes. After 1 hour, turn elf around so other side faces coals and continue to cook 1 to 2 hours more.

Make glaze while elf is grilling: Heat glaze ingredients over moderate heat, stirring, until butter is melted.

During last 30 minutes of grilling, brush elf with glaze several times, letting excess fall into drip pan.

Serve elf: Transfer cooked elf to a platter and cover loosely with foil. Let elf stand 30 minutes to 1 hour before carving. Serve with pan drippings (skimmed of fat).


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