Roast Suckling Pig (Cochinillo Asado)
Spanish Roast Suckling Pig know as Cochinillo Asado and is usually served as a special treat for a birthday meal or at Christmas time .suckling pigs are readily available in all Spanish Supermarkets or from your local butcher. This is a traditional dish and has been cooked in Spain since medieval times.
There are lots of different recipes for Spanish Roast Suckling Pig, here are a couple of the easier versions. The technique is the same as roasting any other kind of meat—you need good seasoning and time.
What exactly is a suckling pig?
Cochinillo, or suckling pig, is a piglet that is slaughtered before it's three or four weeks old. True suckling pigs usually are not more than 20 pounds (9.07 kg)
1 (6- to 7-pound) suckling pig
2 cups water
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons lard or olive oil
Position 1 rack in the middle of the oven and a second rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400 ° F (200ºc)
Place the pig, back side up, on a cutting board. Using a heavy knife, cut it in half along the backbone, stopping just short of cutting all the way through, so that it will lie flat like an open book. Season the pig generously on both sides with salt. Place the pig, skin side down, in a large roasting pan and place on the middle rack in the oven. Roast the pig for 1 hour, adding ½ cup water to the pan every 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix together the garlic and the lard. After the pig has cooked for 1 hour, remove it from the oven and increase the oven heat to 450 ° F (230ºc). Being careful not to burn yourself, turn the pig skin side up and rub it with the garlic and lard mixture. Return the pig to the top rack of the oven and roast for about 30 minutes longer, or until the skin is golden brown and crisp.
Remove the pig from the oven, then transfer the pig to a cutting board. Strain the pan juices through a fine-mesh sieve held over a small saucepan and heat gently on the stove top. Cut the pig into serving pieces and arrange on a warmed platter. Spoon the pan juices over the pig and serve immediately with fresh salad.
Spanish Roast Suckling Pig
6 pound suckling pig
Salt (to taste)
Black pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup Spanish olive oil
1 stick butter
2 medium carrots
1 yellow onion
2 cups of water
Gather the ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 425 F. (220ºc) Peel the carrots and the onion.
Slice the carrots into 4 pieces each and coarsely chop the onion. Reserve.
Season the piglet with salt and pepper, inside and out.
Wrap the ears with foil to prevent them from burning.
Place the piglet in a large, open roasting pan. Coat with olive oil and place dabs of butter all over.
Place in oven and roast, basting often with the pan drippings, for about 2 1/2 hours.
About 10 minutes before removing the piglet from the oven, place the carrots and onion in the pan with the piglet.
When a safe temperature of 145 F, minimum, is reached at the thickest part of the piglet's meat, away from bone or fat, remove the piglet from the oven. Remove the foil from the ears and place the piglet on a serving dish, letting it rest for at least 10 minutes before carving. Keep warm in a warming drawer or in the oven on the lowest setting if not serving right away. (the meat can dry out if left in the warming drawer for too long).
While the meat rests, pour juices from the roasting pan into a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add the vegetables.
When the juices start to sizzle, skim the fat off of the top.
Add 2 cups of water. Increase heat to high and boil rapidly to thicken.
Strain into a gravy boat or small bowl. Serve the piglet on a large platter with the warm gravy on the side, and a side of patatas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes) and a simple green salad. Enjoy!
The gravy in the recipe doesn't use the vegetable pieces, but you can choose to use them in your gravy by following this easy variation:
Once the piglet is resting after cooking, pour the pan juices and vegetables into the blender. Blend at high speed with 1/2 cup of water until well processed. Strain the gravy to get rid of small bits and pieces. Reserve.
In a medium pan on medium-high heat, pan sauté 2 cups of sliced white mushrooms in olive oil until golden brown. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add the strained gravy to the mushroom pan and lower the temperature to low. Add 1 cup of heavy cream and stir to mix and warm up the gravy. Check salt and pepper.
Serve on the side.
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