This week is Suckling Pig Week at Millin’s Free Range Butcher! Most of us have been lucky enough to try suckling pig cooked on a spit at a gathering, or cooked to perfection at a restaurant, maybe a handful of times in our lives. We thought though, why shouldn’t we be able to cook it for ourselves in the oven at home? So we set out on a mission to find some tender, free range suckling pigs for you to try.
The suckling pigs are all sourced from our friends in Cowra, NSW, at a weight range of 23-25kg each. We have portioned them out into six portions each, with the available cuts being legs, loins or shoulders. I have done my duties (ok, if I must!) and tried all three cuts and can say they are all as tender, juicy and flavoursome as each other, with a wafer thin crackling that is just to die for!
What makes suckling pig stickier and more succulent than a full-grown pig?
Collagen. This connective protein is abundant in the flesh of young animals that have yet to develop strong muscle, and as collagen is heated it converts to gelatin, which is what is responsible for making the joints taste so good.
How to cook your suckling pig
Each of the joints we have portioned out will feed 6-8 and only take a couple of hours in the oven.
To achieve the best crackling and perfect meat, leave your joint uncovered in your fridge the night before you plan to cook. On the morning of cooking, oil then heavily salt the joint of suckling pig and let it sit in your fridge for the rest of the day, until an hour before cooking. This will bring the flesh to room temperature so it will cook more evenly throughout.
When you’re ready to cook, pre heat your oven to 230ºC, place the joint in the oven for 20 minutes or until you have a good crackle started on the skin. Then reduce the temperature to 150ºC and keep cooking until the internal temperature of the joint is 68ºC when measured with a meat thermometer. You can crank the oven up again if you are not happy with the crackling but be careful not to burn it — it’s very thin! Rest, covered, on the bench top for 20 minutes before tucking in. Bon appetite!
We’re taking orders now!
To avoid missing out, place your order with us as soon as possible, either in store, over the phone or by email, and don’t forget to complete the meal with the perfect condiments, Tar10 Apple Sauce or Bill’s Spiced Pear Chutney – delicious!