Roasted Suckling Pig Porchetta

with horseradish apples

Roasted Suckling Pig Porchetta

with horseradish apples
The Day Before:

First, we need to brine the pig. Wash it under cold water. Line a large, clean rubbish bag with another rubbish bag and place it in large container or bath. Add water, salt and sugar inside the bag. Stir to dissolve. Place the pig inside carefully so you don’t puncture the bags. Remove excess air and tie tightly. Place in fridge for 12-24 hours, turning once.

The Day Of:

Take out of brine, pat dry and de-bone the body. Start with the legs, cutting skin round the knees and cutting the meat along the bone down towards the spine. Take the leg bone out by cutting the joint. Repeat on all legs.

Ensure you don’t cut the skin from outside, you need it whole. Then cut out the rib cage with spine, again going down with your knife on the ribs under the skin towards the spine. Keep following the bones to ensure no wasted meat. Leave the head attached (best meat is in the head). You can use bones for soup later.

Once the bones are out, arrange the meat to the same thickness all the way through – the mid part is often thinner and legs area is thicker so cut some meat from legs and place in the middle section. Add paprika, garlic, black pepper and picked leaves from thyme. Roll into a large sausage shape roll and tie with cooking string to ensure it stays together when cooking. Place on baking tray.

Preheat oven to 130°C, cover the pig with baking paper and with tin foil. Tie all around the edges of the tray. Cook for 2.5-3 hours (or until it reaches internal temperature of 55°C), rotating once.

Take off the foil and baking paper, take the oven temperature up to 200-210°C, brush the skin with melted butter and cook for 45-60 minutes until the skin is nice and golden and crispy (or until it reaches internal temperature of 72°C). Rotate the pig once, but brush the skin every 15 minutes with melted butter. If the ears become too dark cover them with tin foil.

Once cooked, remove from oven and let it rest for 20 minutes before carving. Take off the cooking string before serving.

Horseradish Apples

Peel and grate the apples, add lemon juice, and micro-grate horseradish.

Mix well and let it sit for couple of hours for the horseradish to develop the flavour.

To Serve

Serve a plate of porchetta with horseradish apples, fresh rustic sourdough or rye bread, or your favourite side.

Chef’s tip: Most good butchers can get you suckling pig. It often needs to be pre-ordered in advance so account for this when preparing. Ask for free range if possible, and watch out for weight — a lot are 12kg or more, making it hard to fit in normal home oven.

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