Oven Roasted Segovian Certified Suckling Pig
It's the Hitchhiker's Guide to oven roasting a Segovian Certified Suckling Pig. In this blog post you'll find the how to's for getting your suckling pig roasted to a gorgeous golden brown with plenty of crispy crackling.
Please be advised that there are quite graphic photos of the suckling pig in this blog to aid in your preparation. If you're squeamish, don't scroll down. If you're squeamish, you probably shouldn't be involved with a suckling pig in the first place.
I loved the experience of preparing and roasting the suckling pig. I was absolutely delighted to bring it back to our offices after the photo shoot to offer my hard working colleagues a taste of this rare delicacy. They attacked it like a pack of wild hyenas, and there was still plenty left over for a tasty midnight snack. Have fun with your Segovian Certified Suckling Pig and let us know how you get on!
For best results, start preparing this recipe 2 days in advance
Your little piggy will require at least a day and a half to thaw. Be sure to take the suckling pig out of the freezer with plenty of time to spare.
There are 2 phases that require an overnight or half day resting period before carrying on to the next step, please read the directions carefully to allow enough preparation time for best results.
The process for preparing the suckling pig is quite easy, and it requires very little time to actually do. The pig will need about 3 hours in the oven to roast; it rests for 45 minutes and then goes back in the oven for 30 minutes to finish the crackling.
What you’ll need
1 Segovian Certified Suckling pig 4-5kg (Quick Shop here)
1 cup white vinegar (250ml)
2-3 litres of water to boil
Good quality extra virgin olive oil—around 1.5 cups (375ml)
Sea Salt Flakes—plenty
Regular table salt—plenty
Garlic-around 5 cloves
Herbs—optional, we had good success with a small packet (20gr) fresh Thyme
1 large onion
XL roasting pan—42cm x 38cm x 8cm is the size we used for our photo shoot
What you’ll do
Prepping your pig
- When your pig has fully defrosted; you can get started with the preparations.
- Boil 2-3 litres of water. Add 1 cup (250ml) white vinegar and pour it over the pig inside and out.
- This will refresh the skin and assist with the crackling process. Dry the pig well with paper towels.
- Place in the fridge for 4-8 hours uncovered to help dry the skin.
- Score the pig vertically through skin and fascia prior to salting. This allows better salt penetration.
- Take plenty of sea salt flakes and LIBERALLY apply to all surfaces inside and out. You can also use normal table salt. We used both as the flakes were not sticking to the dry pick well. Don’t worry about over salting as we will remove the excess later.
- Cover the pig and put it back in the fridge overnight.
- Roughly chop 5 cloves of garlic into the olive oil and fresh herbs, set aside.
- Put the olive oil infusion in a glass container, preferably. Place it in the fridge overnight.
- Remove the pig from the fridge by 7am on the morning of cooking—I pulled mine out while I put the kettle on.
- There should be moisture on the outside which the salt has extracted.
- Take a paper towel and wipe off the excess salt and moisture. Take the infused olive oil mixture and liberally apply to all surfaces.
- Leave the pig out for 5-6 hours. It will come to room temperature while marinating in the oil.
- Next we’ll bind the legs to prevent the limbs from burning during the cooking process.
- Allow the pig to warm slightly before binding it; otherwise the legs will be too stiff.
- Take kitchen twine and bind front and hind legs tightly into the pig’s body as shown below.
Cooking your Pig
- Next we need to protect other vulnerable parts from burning. Take kitchen foil and cover snout, ears and tail.
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. We are going to blast the pig to start the crackling process.
- Now mount the pig upright in the pan. It will tend to fall over so you may need to prop it up, against the sides or wedge it into a corner. We used the onion to help keep the piggy upright. The protein in the meat will firm as it cooks, so the pig will stay in whatever position you leave it.
- Place the pig in the oven at 250 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Drop the oven temperature to about 130-140 degrees and cover the pig for the first 2 hours. Remove from the oven every 30-60 minutes to baste with pan juices and monitor.
Chef Rebekah checks the piggy
- The meat will be done once the juices run clear. This should take somewhere between 2 ½ -3 hours.
- Remove from the oven, cover with foil. Allow to rest 45 minutes.
- The final stage is to finish the crackling and involves a hot oven—preheat to 270 degrees.
Place the rested pig uncovered in the hot oven. This crackling process should take 30 minutes or less. Use your judgement.
We suggest you carve and serve at the table.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a happy oven-roasted Segovian Certified Suckling Pig.