Friday, June 02, 2006

Roast Suckling Pig (or Proceddu Arrustu)

This magnificent roast suckling pig requires a GRAND OCCASION--perhaps a wedding, holiday, or gathering of great friends. It is well worth the effort.

There are two ways in which this traditional suckling pig is prepared:

In the first method, a fire is built with aromatic woods such as juniper, mastic, olive, arbutus, or holm oak.

The pig is splayed and affixed to a large strong stick in front of the fire, and basted with a chunk of pork fat.
Once the pig is done, it is smothered with myrtle leaves and left for 30 minutes before carving.

If you lack an outdoor fireplace or do not want to dig a fire pit, you can use your grill by piling all the coals to one side, setting a drip pan in the other side, and jerry-rigging the spitted pig over the drip pan, leaning it towards the heat of the coals.

- One 4,5 - 6,5 Kg suckling pig, cleaned.
- One piece of pork fat or salt pork.
- Myrtle leaves

  • Prepare a hard wood fire in a fire pit and let it burn for 3 hours, replenishing as needed with wood, until you have a good supply of hot coals.Affix the pig to a straight hard stick and place 40-50 cm in front of the fire, chest side towards the fire. The pig should be leaning slightly towards the fire.Make sure there is a drip pan under the pig to catch the dripping fat.
  • Roast for 3 hours, basting with the salt pork or pork fat. Turn and continue roasting for another 3 hours. Test for doneness by quick piercing with a knife;if the blade is hot the pig is ready. Let the pig sit for 30 minutes on a bed of myrtle before carving.

For the second method, a large pit is dug in the ground and covered with rocks.

A large fire is built upon the rocks, and when it has burned for many hours, the pig is set upon it and covered with hot coals, which are then covered with myrtle branches.
The earth is piled on top, leaving no evidence of what is happening under the ground.
This method was typical of the bandits who once populated the desolate reaches of the island's interior.


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