Cuban Roast Suckling Pig is traditionally cooked by wrapping the piglet in banana or plantain leaves, then slow roasting it over a pit of smoldering coals dug into the ground. Most of us can’t do that where we live, but you can obtain the same results using a large charcoal grille. Ask your butcher to split the piglet for you. This is an amazingly tasty meal, the piglet has had a diet of exclusively mother’s milk – hence, the meat is the most tender of all pork meats.
And don’t be shy about preparing a Cuban Roast Suckling Pig. They are not much bigger than a large turkey. As with turkey meals in America, this meal is usually prepared and served in Cuba on major holidays or very special large family gathering events.
Cuban Roast Suckling Pig Recipe-
- 1 whole suckling pig (about 12 lb.) split through the underside
- 8 cups of sour orange juice
- 8 large cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
- 1 cup fresh oregano leaves, minced
- 5 tbsp. salt
- Cuban Mojo seasoning, for serving condiment
- In a mixing bowl, combine the salt, oregano, garlic, and sour orange juice. Pour the marinade into a deep, large roasting pan and put the piglet, belly down, into the pan. Coat the pig thoroughly with the marinade, rubbing and working it into the flesh. Allow the piglet to marinade overnight, at for at least 12 hours. Every now and then, baste and rub the pig with the marinade some more.
- When you are ready to start cooking, fire up your coals (use premium quality hardwood charcoal – not the chemical-infused charcoal briquets, for best, authentic flavor. Plus it is healthier for you). When the charcoal fire has died down and the coals are white hot, you are ready to start cooking. (Note: you can also cook with a gas grille. If so, you can obviously start cooking right away with the flames set right. I would suggest, however, that you use some wood smoking chips for more authentic flavor)
- Take the piglet out of the marinade and place it on the grilling grate (or use a grilling rotisserie if you have one). You want the pig to be positioned just close enough to the coals so it roasts, but does not burn.
- Slow roast, turning occasionally, for about 4 to 4-1/2 hours. The rule of thumb is 20 minutes per pound. Add coals to the smoldering bed as needed, to maintain proper heat.
- By the time your piglet is well cooked through, the skin will be deep brown and crispy.
- Allow the meat to cool for 15 or 20 minutes before carving.
- Serve your Cuban Roast Suckling Pig with black beans and rice, and have some Cuban Mojo seasoning on the table for people to sprinkle on to their tastes.
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