Tender & sweet Suckling Pig
Choosing your pig
Suckling pigs range from about 6kgs to 12kgs.
For the best meat, choose a specialist butcher who can prove the source of the animal. They are expensive, nearly the same price as a full grown pig.
Frozen suckling pigs are a lot cheaper if you can find them.
Stuffing your pig: (Optional)
Breadcrumbs (10 slices of bread including crusts)
Two large onions, peeled and chopped
4 x garlic cloves, crushed
1 x desert spoon of freshly grated ginger
6 x rashers of thick, smoked bacon, sliced into small pieces
250g dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
1 x Cox, Braeburn or other sweet apple, peeled and chopped
Salt & Pepper
Half pint of water
2 x beaten eggs
Mix all the ingredients together, except the water and eggs, in a large mixing bowl. Use your hands to make sure of a good mix.
Add half the water and mix, followed by the other half.
Finally mix in the beaten egg
Add salt and pepper to your own taste
Cover the mixture with foil and allow to stand in the fridge for at least an hour
Make sure that all offal is removed from the carcass.
Wash the inside of the animal with clean water and pat dry with kitchen roll.
Make holes along the edges of the cavity through the skin and flesh at roughly 3 cms apart
Putting your pig onto the skewer ……….
(You will need 2 x meat retaining forks + 3 “U” bolts)
Place one meat retaining fork on to the skewer, but do not tighten.
Thread the skewer through the animal’s anal cavity, along the spine and out through the mouth.
Put a second meat retaining fork on the skewer and into the animal’s mouth.
Now position the animal, so that it is in the centre of the skewer.
Push both meat retaining forks into the animal as far as they will go and tighten them.
Take one the “U” bolts and push it from underneath the neck to emerge just behind the ears.
Place the other two “U” bolts along the spine, one in the centre and one in front of the hind legs. These two “U” bolts need to go from the inside, either side of the spine. It might take a hammer to get them through. If they fail to penetrate the outside skin, just make a small nick with a knife where the bolt is trying to emerge.
Tighten both “U” bolts.
Wire the front and rear legs tightly to the skewer.
Put foil on both ears and the tail to prevent burning.
The skin of a suckling pig is quite thin, so if you slice it, make the cuts small and shallow. Alternatively, put a few holes in the skin with a small skewer to allow some fat to get out during cooking
Stuffing (Option):Place your stuffing inside the pig, squeeze the edges of the cavity together and sew them tightly together with string. A large darning needle is good for this task. Your butcher will often help. You might like to take the lower leg portions off?
Cooking time is roughly 2 – 2 1/2hours. This depends on the weight of your pig, and weather conditions
Firstly, make sure that your cooking charcoal is hot and grey. You will need between 30 and 40 minutes to achieve the correct heat. Top up at regular interval to maintain heat.
Place your loaded skewer on to your rotisserie and start the motor. Begin cooking at a lower height for no more than 10 minutes to start the crackling, then raise the cooking height.
As fat emerges on to the skin, brush this over the animal with a long handled cooking brush. Once the skin is moistened with fat, sprinkle salt all over the animal.
After 2 hours cooking, thrust a long meat skewer through the animal at the head end, the centre and hind quarters. Until the juices run clear in all three positions the animal is not cooked. Repeat this operation every 10 minutes until the juices run clear.
If you need to enhance your crackling, lower the cooking height for the last 5 / 10 minutes of cooking.
Once cooking is finished, allow your pig to rest for 20 minutes before carving.
If you would like to download or print a copy of this recipe, just click the link below: