Suckling pig

Matt Tebbutt's roasted pig recipe creates a magnificent centre piece for a special meal yet is simple to prepare
By Matt Tebbutt
Suckling pig
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 45 minutes plus resting
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 1 bulb garlic, sliced horizontally through the middle
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 3 apples
  • 1 5kg suckling pig, prepped by your butcher
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • vegetable oil, to rub into skin

Tips and Suggestions

To see if it's ready insert a knife/carving fork/skewer into the rear haunch of the pig towards the centre. It should break through a layer of crackling and find no resistance to the soft meat inside.

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Place half the garlic, herbs, apples and some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper inside the pig and tie up with string if necessary.

2. Place the pig in a large baking tray, trotters facing downwards so that the backbone is facing upwards. Place the other half of the garlic, herbs and apples around the pan. Remove racks from the oven if necessary in order to fit the pig in.

3. Squeeze over the juice of a lemon. Rub the pig all over with vegetable oil and season generously with salt. Put the pig in the preheated oven.

4. Cook the pig for 45 minutes, basting every now and again with the fat at the bottom of the pan, then turn down the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3 and cook for about 3 more hours. Loosely cover with foil if necessary to prevent burning. If it isnt ready yet then return to the oven for a further 30 minutes and check again. (See Cook's Tip)

5. Remove from the oven and rest for at least 10-15 minutes somewhere warm. The juices will begin to run out, especially when you cut into the meat so make sure you have a board with a rim around whilst cutting.

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