Suckling pig, or cochinillo as it’s known in Spain, is one of our most popular products here at Basco – and for good reason. Packed with flavour and dripping with delicious juices, it’s a dish that dates back to Medieval times which is still enjoyed by families all over Spain today. We only source suckling pigs with the Cochinillo de Segovia guarantee seal to ensure unbeatable quality and the best flavour, and import them directly from farms in the Segovia region who have the highest standards when it comes breeding and rearing.
Here we take a look at a few ways to ensure you get the most out of this tasty meat dish, from how to keep it from drying out in the oven to how to carve a whole roasted pig. You can also take a look at our roast pig recipe for a step by step cooking guide that follows a traditional method while still using modern conveniences for ease.
The best way to prepare your suckling pig for the oven is to butterfly it, laying it on its back and cutting down its spine. Begin at the bottom and work your way up to the head, splitting the spine with a cleaver to open it up. Butterflying your suckling pig is a crucial step as it will help ensure that it cooks evenly on all sides.
Cooking a whole roasted pig that’s deliciously succulent and juicy will no doubt be your end goal. The best way to ensure the meat stays moist throughout roasting is to place about an inch of water in the bottom of the tray and top it up as your suckling pig cooks. This will stop the meat and skin from drying out, and make carving much easier as it should just fall off the bone when it’s done.
To avoid your meat touching the roasting water or the bottom of the tin, make sure you elevate it either using a slatted tray or by fixing several clean wooden slats into your oven tin for the pig to sit on. Placing your whole pig directly in the water or on a dry roasting tin could cause it to burn, dry out or be undercooked.
To ensure you get a crispy layer of crackling on top of your roast suckling pig, you should brush a layer of lard and olive oil over the skin around halfway through its total cooking time. This will stop the skin from burning as well as create a nice crispy layer. Before you oil your pig though, make sure you prick the skin with a fork or knife so air bubbles don’t start to form underneath.
If you’ve followed your roast pig recipe properly, the meat should slice easily off the bone with just a little help from a sharp knife- or even the edge of a plate if you want to follow Segovian tradition! It’s best to place your cooked pig flat on a serving platter first and take it straight to the table to be carved.
Once you’ve prepared the perfect roast suckling pig, serve it up with seasonal vegetables and pair it with a rich red wine like our Lopez Cristobal Crianza from Ribera del Duero.