• Prep Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Serves: 12 Servings

Whole Roast Suckling Pig

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Meat

 Ingredients List

  • 1 Whole suckling pig
  • -(10-14 lb), oven-ready
  • -(have your butcher clean
  • - and trim it)
  • 1/3 c Plain distilled vinegar
  • 1 1/2 c Carrots, chopped or sliced
  • 1 1/2 c Celery, chopped or sliced
  • 1 1/2 c Onions, chopped or sliced
  • 1/3 c Safflower oil
  • 1 tb Coarse salt
  • 1 ts Thyme
  • Stuffing (optional) *
  • - *(instead of vegetables)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 c Stock
  • 1 c Wine
  • 1 sm Red apple
  • 1 bn Watercress
  • 2 tb Flour
  • 2 tb Butter


THE DAY BEFORE COOKING, WASH pig inside and out; soak it in very cold water
with vinegar for a few hours. This freshens and whitens the meat. If you
pig is frozen, it can also defrost during this soaking. Over a medium heat
cook the carrots, celery and onions in the oil for a good 10 minutes,
stirring occasionally. The onions should become somewhat translucent, the
carrots slightly caramelized. Add salt and thyme. Dry the pig thoroughly
inside and out. You may stuff the pig with the vegetables at this time;
however, if you use a conventional stuffing, such as one for a turkey, wait
until just before cooking and make certain that the pig and stuffing are at
room temperature. The easiest way to close the opening is to use an ice
pick or an upholstery needle to punch rows of holes about an inch apart on
both sides of the stomach flaps. Then lace it up with thick string just as
you would a shoe. You may also use skewers and string as you would for a
turkey. Because protein firms as it cooks, the pig will stay in whatever
position you place it. It should resemble a dog resting on its haunches.
Place the pig in the roasting pan; it may have to be placed diagonally.
Tuck the hind legs close to the stomach on either side; tie them together
with string under the stomach if needed. The forelegs should be pointing
straight ahead (also tied together so they won't spread out) and the head
resting between them. Place a small piece of wood (like a child's block) or
a piece of bunched-up foil in the mouth, opening it as wide as you can.
Twist the tail into a curl and secure it with string or tape. Place
crumpled aluminum foil in the eye sockets (some people place marbles). At
this point you may cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it. Before
cooking the pig, let it come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 450F.
With the oil, thoroughly baste every inch of the pig, including the head,
legs and tail. Out of aluminum foil make little covers for the ears and
tail. If your pig hangs over the pan, use heavy-duty foil to extend the pan
so that any juices will be collected. Place the pig in the oven for 30
minutes. Remove the pig quickly, shutting the oven door, baste with oil
again and return to the oven. Then reduce the temperature to 350F. Continue
basting with oil every 20 minutes 4 to 5 more times (for a total of 2
hours). If the ears and tail haven't browned, remove the aluminum covers
for the last 20 minutes. The total cooking time will be between 2 and 2 1/2
hours. The cooking time is less because it is not fully stuffed; if it
were, it would take an hour longer. (Approximately 10 minutes per pound
lightly stuffed or unstuffed; 15 minutes per pound fully stuffed.) The pig
is done when the temperature of the thigh reaches 165F (trichinae are
killed when the internal temperature reaches 139F for a period of 10
minutes). When done, it may easily rest for an hour under foil or in a
turned-off oven. To serve, make a garland for the pig's neck by stringing
together sprigs of watercress. Make certain your apple is nicely polished.
Enlist some help and very carefully slide the pig onto the platter or
carving board it will be presented on. It is rather fragile at this point
and can even break in half. Make a sauce by skimming the fat off the juices
in the roasting pan. Place the roasting pan over 2 burners, add the stock
and the wine and bring to the simmer. Stir to dissolve all the roasting
juices coagulated on the bottom and continue cooking about 10 minutes. If
you wish to thicken the sauce, whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour that have
been blended with 2 tablespoons of butter, bring the sauce back to the boil
and boil for 2 minutes, stirring. Remove any remaining foil, string or
skewers. Place the apple in the pig's mouth. Place the watercress garland
around its neck and bring it to the table.

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