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    roasted suckling pig, how to cook a suckling pig Recipes, Spanish Meat Recipes 5 1 5 0

    Roasted Whole Suckling Pig Recipe

    • Serves 6 people
    • Complexity Easy
    Prep time
    10 mins
    Cook time
    Total time
    3h 10 mins
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    • 5-6kg Whole suckling pig, gutted and clean
    • Sea salt
    • Lard
    • Extra virgin olive oil
    • Water


    Authentic Spanish suckling pig is a traditional dish cooked in Spain since medieval times. They say that the best Spanish suckling pigs come from the area of Segovia. Since 2002, a quality control label was developed between farmers, wholesalers, abattoirs, hospitality businesses and institutions from the area of Segovia in order to ensure that all suckling pigs follow a strict control process from birth to sacrifice, providing a seal of guarantee to the consumer of the authenticity of the product. This regulatory body certifies with the stamp of ‘Cochinillo de Segovia’ that suckling pigs have only gone through breast-feeding for a maximum of 21days which gives their meat its great flavour and delightful taste. The quantity of food eaten by this tiny animal is very small, that’s why he’s got the nickname of cochinillo (small suckling pig). The ideal weight is between 4.4 and 5.8kg but the most recommended are the smaller ones. The quality stamp also provides information on the date of sacrifice for each suckling pig and their identification code. The quality stamp should always be found wrapped round the leg of each suckling pig. When cooking whole suckling pig, the main two ingredients are salt and water. The pig should be brought out of the fridge at least 4 hours before cooking to ensure it reaches room temperature. The addition of water to the roasting process provides steam to the meat to ensure all the moisture is kept. However, the cooking process is to roast the suckling pig, so the meat should never be in contact with the water or it will boil it. The use of some wooden slats on the bottom of the roasting tin will keep the suckling pig away from direct contact with the water. Roasted suckling pig is traditionally served in Spain whole at the table with a salad of iceberg lettuce and spring onion dressed with cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil and of course a bottle of good quality wine. A young fruity red or a white wine will go really well but I prefer a chilled bottle of cava. The bubbles and acidity of the cava will cut really well through the suckling pig’s milky flavour.


    1. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes prior.
    2. Firstly, you need to butterfly open the suckling pig to ensure the cooking process is even on all sides. Lay the suckling pig on its back and with the help of a cleaver, cut inbetween its spine, right through the middle to open both sides up. You start from the middle of the loin, right up to its head. You start by cutting in with the cleaver and then hitting it hard to split the spine. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, ask your local butcher to do it for you.
    3. To cook the suckling pig, you will need a large rectangle roasting tin in which the piglet can fit. You will also need 2 or 3 clean wooden slats that fit in the tin and where the piglet can rest so it is not in direct contact with the tin or cooking water. Season the piglet with fine sea salt and place it skin side down on the roasting tin. Pour about an inch of water onto the bottom of the tin, making sure the water does not overflow over the wooden slats. Roast for 90 minutes.
    4. Take the piglet out of the oven, turn the piglet skin side up, remove the cooking juices from the roasting tin and add some fresh water, again about an inch. Prick the skin of the piglet with a fork in various places to avoid bubbles appearing under the skin whilst cooking. Brush the piglet with a mixture of lard and olive oil and return to the oven for a further 90 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6 for the last 30 minutes of cooking.
    5. Remove the suckling pig from the oven and take it out of the roasting tin onto a serving platter. Drain, with the help of a ladle or large spoon, the excess of oil from the cooking juices and fine strain them. Check if the juices have the right seasoning, if not, add some more salt and serve with the roasted suckling pig. The skin should be incredibly crispy and the meat very soft that’s why you should be able to carve the suckling pig with a plate cutting through it…that’s the tradition!

    Shop Ingredients

    Matarromera Reserva 2018


    Whole Suckling Pig 4-5Kg


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