Since all the talk on Chowtimes about Roast Pork (Siu Yook) it got us thinking At A Wok in the Tuscan Kitchen, so we tried our hand at roasting a suckling pig.....you know how it goes. Go big or go Home.
Once upon a time, a little piglet was trotting along, minding his own business........
This foodie adventure started with sourcing a pig. It was pretty simple, one phone call and it was done.
Most people go and buy already roasted pork from the BBQ shop at Parker Place, not us...."we'd like a fresh whole pig, please." It took only a bit of convincing before they took my $130.00 (that works out to $5.20 per pound). I know, not really a great deal, but we wanted to try cooking this....the stuff you do for blogging.
I was a bit nervous about handling piglet. So I used my charm and just like that, problem solved... the nice butcher man offered to escort little piglet out of the market and into the car for me. He said, he didn't want me to mess up my clothes! Nice butcher man. That is worth the $5.20 per pound, right there!
BR was with me, but he was very illegally parked, so he had to stay and guard the car.
Interesting when you are wandering around with a piglet, people stop and want to talk to you....some people just look in horror.
We went with a Southern inspired menu.
Roast Suckling Pig
Collard Greens with Smoked Ham Hock
Deep Fried Oyster Fritters
Southern Fried Chicken
Macaroni and Cheese with Truffle Oil
Here's how we prepped Piglet.
First it was pampered with a relaxing citrus massage. (We rubbed the skin with lemons)
Next, a deep tissue massage with a dry rub of Smoked Paprika, Garlic Powder, Coarse Salt, Cumin, Oregano and Cayenne Pepper. As a standard in A Wok in the Tuscan Kitchen, nobody goes away with an empty belly, so we made sure he was all full up with lemons and onions. Off piglet went for his overnight beauty rest.
We figured it would take about 4 hours at 300 degrees for piglet to be ready for it's moment in the spotlight. He went round and round in a smokey haze of mesquite, applewood and oak.
After taking it's temperature.....a perfect 165 degrees and a further hour of resting the stage was set with the other menu items and piglet took centre stage.
So, how did it taste?
It was delicious. Tender. Juicy. Delicate.
It was quite different than the Chinese Style Siu Yook.....this was more a pulled pork kinda thing. The skin was also a different texture to siu yook, due to the low, slow method of cooking, but was still delicious. Since we were deep frying, we even fried up some of the skin....
We really got into the feasting and I was remiss in taking a photo of the cut meat. There was a lot of paparazzi so I will update if someone sends some images.
The real scoop on this....it was kinda gross preparing it. It was a lot of work....and took a lot of time. We did document the whole process. The photos are really quite graphic to post on the world wide web. So what you get are the beauty shots.
I'm very glad we did it. Got to spend time with my cousins. BR had a very memorable birthday dinner. A grand time was enjoyed by all........
A new birthday tradition? Probably just a one off. Here's BR cutting his birthday pig.
Would I cook a Whole Suckling Pig again.......? Probably not.
Parker Place sells a whole Roasted Suckling Pig for $185, I'd be happy giving them another $55 and let them do the cooking.