Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Lechón al Horno (Roasted Pig)


Serves 8


1 baby pig (6 1/2 pounds more or less)
1 lemon
1 cup ground cayenne pepper
1/4 cup parsley, finely minced
1 spoonful thyme, finely minced
1 spoonful garlic (8 cloves), peeled, minced, and roasted
11/2 spoonfuls ground salt
11/2 teaspoons ground cumin
11/2 teaspoons crumbled oregano
1 teaspoons ground black pepper
3/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup oil or butter


1. Clean the pig scraping with a knife's edge the hair that might still be on the skin.

2. Rub the inside and outside of the pig with the lemon juice.

3. In a separate bowl mix all the ingredients, so that a sauce forms. Rub the pig with the mixture. Let it stand for one night.

4. Before putting the pig into the oven, sprinkle it with the juice that had dripped during the night. Make small cuts in the joints of the shoulders and legs, separating the nerves of these limbs. This is made to avoid shrinking when cooking.

5. Place the pig in a deep baking sheet to receive the juice that drips when cooking, with the skin downwards so that, in contact with the juice, it cooks first. One hour later, turn the pig over so that the skin already cooked turns golden and crunchy. Let it cook for about three hours over medium heat (American oven: 350 Fahrenheit degrees; European oven: 176 Celsius degrees).

6. Remove baking sheet from oven. Cut the meat into medium size pieces (about 3 to 4 inches). Serve with baked potatoes and lettuce salad.

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