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Feb 4, 2007 07:16 AM

Suckling Pig

I am cooking a suckling pig today and was wondering if anyone out their has any tried and true methods for cooking it in the oven and finishing it on the grill. I was originally going to do the entire pig on a spit but it is not fitting so........ Thanks

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  1. We do a roast suckling pig every year for Christmas. Traditionally we Eastern Orthodox so a piggy for Christmas and a lamb for Easter. So I roast at least two carcasses anually. :)

    The night before, wash it well, scraping off any remaining hairs. Salt the pig, inside and out.

    When ready to cook the next day, repeat after me: low and slow is the way to go.

    You can't go wrong if you give yourself a good 4-6 hours, depending on the size of the piggie. 325 degrees will do what you need it to do. For the first hour or so you can pretty much leave it alone. Thereafter you want to baste the skin with oil (we used canola) every 15-30 minutes so that it gets nice and crisp and browned.

    In order for last month's pig to fit into the oven with other dishes also cooking, we ended up hacking into two pieces. The rib/shoulder half was less dense than the lower half, so we pulled out the top half early and let it sit on the counter so it wouldn't overcook while the lower, thicker half continued to roast.

    If you have a young, fresh, tasty little piglet, there's not much more you need to do to make it taste divine.

    I've never finished it on the grill. I don't feel that there's a need to, as it tastes loverly this way. I'm sure doing a spit (especially over wood) gives it a very different and amazing flavor, but oven roasting still yields a great piggie.

    Good luck, and enjoy!

    1 Reply
    1. re: venera

      I can't possibly imagine why one would use canola oil on a suckling pig... extra-virgin olive oil all the way.

    2. I would hesitate finishing it on the grill as well. There's no need to, it will only add more to the cooking process. The skin might have a tendency to burn on the grill and as I recall, the crispy brown skin is one of the best parts!

      1 Reply
      1. re: HaagenDazs

        I've seen Chinese, Thai, Italians, Argentines and Brazilians roasting over wood fire. The scent of the wood and the extreme heat work wonders on fat and skin.

      2. After enjoying a fabulous suckling pig for lunch at Niepoort in the Douro last year, my friend and I headed into the kitchen to ask the cook for her secrets. She brined it overnight with savory herbs, onions, lemons, oranges, white pepper, and piripiri in the salt solution.

        1. thanks to all. It came out fantastic! I will post the details later....

          1. These sound delicious! Where can one ordinarily obtain a suckling pig? Not something you see in the grocery store.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Xine

              A good butcher. They can order one for you. Also, try the ethnic stores around you: Greek, Middle Eastern, Eastern European....they will either be able to order one for you, or tell you where to get them.

              When I first moved to the east coast I went to the Greektown in my city and stopped someone on the street to ask them where I could order a baby lamb for Easter. :) It worked!