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Jul 12, 2007 07:57 PM

Roast suckling pig

Anyone done one? My dad wants to do one since he remembers the sandwich he ate in Italy from it. Crispy and salty crust, stuffed with a plethora of herbs and coarse sea salt. Melted in your mouth and juicy.
Can anyone advise?
Is it fennel they use for that Mediterranean flavour?

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  1. If you don't want to do a suckling pig I recommend the Mock Porchetta from the Zuni Cafe cookbook. It really is a fantastic dish and is superb for making sandwiches.

    8 Replies
    1. re: King of Northern Blvd

      I agree...I have made the Mock porchetta and it is quite good....a lot less hassle than doing a whole pig

      1. re: nyfoodjoe

        King and NYFood - I may have to order this cookbook; I have heard it mentioned several times. Can you paraphrase the ingredients?

        1. re: itryalot

          I found this online and seems to be a correct recipe for the Zuni version. I have done it on the grill with out all the extra veggies and it comes out excellent. The key is the 1-3 day seasoning/dry brine...

          1. re: King of Northern Blvd

            Oh the grill! I've was planning to ask what opionins were of turning this into a grill recipe. There is no way I'm turning my oven on for 3 hours in July.

            So how did you do it? Did you still use a skillet and just stick it in your grill? (I've done great for all kinds of stuff) Gas? Charcoal? details please. :)

            1. re: wawajb

              I just used indirect heat on my Weber charcoal kettle. I didn't use a skillet but just stuck it right on there. I'm sure it would come out even better with a skillet to collect juices etc.

            2. re: King of Northern Blvd

              Could this be done in a big old cast iron skillet - either in the oven or on the grill?

              1. re: King of Northern Blvd

                Looks like an interesting and tasty recipe. Thanks. Are the veggies necessary? I too was wondering about the grill. Direct or indirect heat? On a pan or in a skillet or on the grill directly - in Italy it is done on the traditional spit, but I can see wanting to keep the juices. I want to serve these on good Italian panini, and pour some of the juices on top and wrap the bottom half in a wax type paper like they do in Italy.
                What do you think about doubling the recipe or should I just get two shoulders?

                1. re: itryalot

                  The veggies are fantastic. Whenever I do this in the oven I always make the veggies but have not done so with the grill. Like I said above I just did indirect heat with no skillet but i don't see a reason as to why you couldn't use one. As for doubling the recipe I am not sure. I would use 2 small butts instead of a big one. I'm not sure how the seasoning/brine would work on a large one. Maybe someone else can chime in on that one.

        2. Yes, it's wild fennel seeds that are used in Italy. If you don't get any recipes here that appeal to you, do a Google search for "Porchetta". The herbs used can vary widely.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Are pollen the seeds or is pollen the powdery stuff, like in a flower?

              1. re: itryalot

                Yes, the powdery stuff from the flowers. I had located one local source of the fennel pollen, available frozen, but the store was out the day I needed it. A common substitute is roasted fennel seeds, ground.

            2. I don't think those were little bitty suckling pigs in Italy. IIRC, those were full-grown porkers that the porchetta was sold from. Too big for Italian ovens which is why they bought it already cooked in markets instead of cooking it at home.
              Definitely one of the most delicious things on earth and I've been dying to try Zuni's Mock version. Probably the way to go. The recipe is on the internet.

              1 Reply
              1. re: MakingSense

                I have had the suckling pigs at a family gathering in Europe, but at the market it is those honking sized pigs which are deboned, stuffed with herb mixture and cooked to a juicy and tenderized perfection; the crispy skin is not too shabby either. Now I really want a porchetta sandwich. I may have to do a test run of this before I make it for people.
                IF anyone tries this, please report back.