More than just cooking a meal, roasting a suckling pig is an event. Oftentimes the pig is roasted in a wood-burning oven or outdoors, making it impractical for a lot of us. But this recipe from Chef Jose Garces makes it doable in a home kitchen. Garces has developed a nearly foolproof method for achieving tender, moist meat by brining the young pig before roasting.
What to buy: Order your suckling pig from a quality butcher you trust. This recipe will accommodate a 12- to 20-pound pig, but most ovens won’t easily fit a pig that’s more than about 18 pounds. Suckling pig has a more distinct pork flavor than most commercial pork cuts, and the taste can take some getting used to.
Tips for cooking a suckling pig involve careful scrubbing—you’re dealing with a large amount of raw meat here, so be sure to clean up thoroughly afterward. You can use foil to hold the pig’s mouth in place during roasting or the more traditional apple.Take the internal temperature of the pig by inserting a thermometer into the thigh (be sure the thermometer doesn’t touch any bone).
This recipe was featured in our Suckling Pig for the Holidays menu.