• Whole Suckling Pig (10-12 lbs)
Brine, the night before:
• 2 1/2 cups Kosher Salt • 2 Tablespoons white sugar • 2 1/2 gallons ice cold water • 6 Bay Leaves, fresh • 1 bunch fresh thyme • 1 head garlic, cut across the equator • 1 yellow onion, peeled and cut in half across the equator • 3 stalks of celery, cut in half • 2 lemons, cut in half • 1 Tablespoon Black Peppercorns, whole • 1 Tablespoon Coriander Seeds, whole
In a non-reactive container, dissolve the salt and sugar into the water, then add the remaining ingredients. Place the pig in a container large enough to hold it, then pour in the brine. If the pig floats, put a plate on top of it and weight it down with something that is non-reactive such as a gallon of milk. Place the entire container in the refrigerator and keep overnight.
The day of:
Prepare Rudd Farms Apple, Roasted Chestnut and Sage Stuffing (recipe below). Refrigerate.
• 1/2 cup salt • 2 Tablespoons ground black pepper
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Remove the pig from the brine, rinse well and place on a baking sheet. Using paper towels, dry the skin very well. Remember, the drier the skin the crispier the skin! Once dried, rub the entire pig with the salt and pepper and sprinkle liberally in the cavity. Place the pig in the refrigerator for a few hours - this will further dry out the skin. After a few hours, remove the pig from the refrigerator, place on the counter and let temper for about 1 hour. Also, remove the stuffing from the refrigerator and allow to temper. The reason for tempering is to ensure even cooking. Once tempered, stuff the pig with the stuffing.
• 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil • 1 whole apple
Brush the entire surface of the pig with the olive oil and tent the ears with aluminum foil to prevent burning. Place the apple in the pig's mouth. This will allow valuable and delicious juices to flow back into the cavity. Place the pig on the middle rack in the center of the oven. After 15 minutes, brush the skin with more olive oil. Repeat this process one more time, rotating the pan 90 degrees to ensure even cooking. Lower the heat to 350 degrees. Continue to rotate the pan every 30 minutes until the internal temperature of the pig, taken at the thickest part of the thigh, reaches 180 degrees. This should take between 3 1/2 - 4 hours. The thigh meat should be tender when pressed and the legs should be able to move in their sockets. Remove from the oven and let cool for 45 minutes before carving. This will allow valuable juices to retreat back to the tissues.
Recipe serves 8-10
• 1/2 pound unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed • 2 large yellow onions, diced small • 6 spears celery, washed well and diced small • 5 jumbo carrots, peeled and diced small • 5 leaves of fresh sage, stacked and julienned very thin • 1 bunch thyme, leaves removed and chopped finely • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced into 1-inch chunks • 2 cups chestnuts, julienned • 2 big loaves of artisan bread such as sourdough, whole grain or french baguette, torn into 2 inch chunks • 3 Tablespoons Kosher Salt • 2 teaspoons Black Pepper • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten • 1 cup heavy cream • 1 quart low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Begin by adding the butter, garlic, onions, celery and carrot in a large sauté pan set over medium heat. Sweat the mixture down until soft, about 15 minutes. Transfer the cooked mirepoix to a large mixing bowl, and add the chopped herbs, torn bread, apples and chestnuts. Season the mixture with the salt and pepper, and re-toss to evenly distribute.
In a separate bowl combine the stock, cream and eggs, and whisk together. Pour over the bread mixture, and toss well to incorporate. Transfer to a shallow buttered baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for 1 hour. Remove the foil and bake until the top has developed a slight crust - this should take an additional 15-20 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.