Longing for a suckling…

by Evans Yonson

Barcelona – In less than three weeks from today, I will be in Madrid again. This is going to be my fifth time to be in the capital since I came back to Spain in 2008. I am going for various reasons but one main motive is to get my Masters diploma that has been long overdue. I finished my Masters in 2005 and it’s already 2011. See, I told you it takes more than three years for the Spanish university authorities to sign a piece of paper.

Last year, I met up with dear friends, Aaron and Jo and we all went to Segovia to eat cuchinillo (suckling pig aka lechon de leche). That was second time and Aaron’s first. After our sumptuous lunch, we resolved that we will have an annual cuchinillo feast in Segovia, on the same weekend.

For those who couldn’t be with us in Segovia, I asked a Spanish friend to write me a cuchinillo recipe. Here it goes:

The best cuchinillo in the world is found only in Segovia.

Prep Time: 15 minutes; Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Ingredients:

6 lb suckling pig

1/2 cup Spanish olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup butter

2 medium carrots

1 yellow onion

Preparation:

This roast suckling pig recipe makes approximately 6 servings.

Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Season the piglet with salt and pepper, inside and out. Wrap the ear with aluminum foil to prevent them from burning. Then, place the piglet in a large, open roasting pan. Baste with olive oil and dab with butter all over.

Place in oven and roast, basting often with the pan drippings for about 2 1/2 hours.

While the piglet is roasting, peel the carrots and the onion. Slice the carrots into 4 pieces each. Coarsely chop the onion. About 10 minutes before removing the piglet from the oven, place the carrots and onion in the pan with the piglet.

Remove the piglet from oven when it is fully cooked. (Check meat and make sure that the juice is clear and not bloody.) Remove the aluminum foil from ears and place on a serving dish. Keep warm in a warming drawer or under heat lamps.

Pour juices from roasting pan into a sauce pan with the vegetables and heat over medium heat on stove. When the juices start to sizzle, skim fat off top. Add 2 cups of water. Increase heat to high and boil rapidly to thicken. Strain through a strainer or cheesecloth.

Serve the piglet on a large platter with the warm gravy on the side, roast or fried potatoes and a simple green salad.

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