A traditional “matanza” starts early in the day with the slaughtering, butchering, and pit cooking of some sort of livestock. Pit cooking requires enough wood burning to surround the meat with a couple of feet of hot coals. On May 5th, a statewide fire restriction made the burning of wood all but impossible.

Ben consults with Nate on an ‘alternative’ plan for pit cooking.


3x3x3 and lined with blocks.

Nate, money manager, chef and super matanzaneer, begins preparing 50 lbs of meat. Seasoned, wrapped in foil, layered with soaked burlap, then chicken wire, each packet was prepared as dusk approached.

Beef. Pork. Chicken.

The moment it got dark, a small fire was coaxed to life while hoping it wasn’t reported.

Custom wire baskets to speed ignition of the charcoal.

With the bottom layer (75 lbs) already in the pit, the second batch is prepared to cover the meat.

The next morning.

12 hours later, at 10 am, the digging began.

The first of several meat packets are retrieved.


The largest piece of beef roast.

As the wind increased, Anthony drives stakes into the ground to secure the tarp.

Bud’s gift to Ben: A ‘shopped’ photo of Ben on his Harley in New Zealand.