Good piggy ! The story of Buchalter the Suckling Pig

Buchalter( piggy)

In this picture:    Piggy minus the head , solely out of consideration of the squeamish

( otherwise, he’d be frolicking in the pan,quince in mouth!)

Well…this is the first recipe posting and the story behind it!
An important part in each of my travels involves visiting the local markets. It’s a big part of experiencing any new place for me and then…I feel like cooking and having a feast. A few months back I had the opportunity to visit Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It just so happened that I had met some incredible people and also it just so happened that one of those people was celebrating a birthday (shout out to May and Don in Toronto!), so I had the perfect reason to prepare a feast.

Following a few earlier trips to the market, I sat down and came up with the menu for the feast. The next day I went to the local market and shopped for all of the ingredients I needed. I found some exciting ones too! For example a13lb suckling pig, Nopale (cactus), quinces, dry chipotle peppers, quail’s eggs….

The market in Puerto Vallarta

I decided to name the pig Buchalter (my mother’s maiden name) and proceeded to make squealing sounds and chase my mother and sister in the kitchen while holding Buchalter (I am 33 by the way…I know!).

The menu:

Amuse Bouche:
Grilled bread coins topped with ash covered goat cheese chorizo crisp and fried quail’s egg

Amuse Bouche

Table Setting:
Fresh homemade Branch shaped Bread (of course I baked it)
Grilled Nopale strips in Olive Oil
Assortment of toasted fresh chilies

First Courses:

Sugar cane skewered shrimp with garlic-butter and a cane-lime sauce

Mexican cinnamon skewered kingfish with lime-cilantro and chilies
Main Courses:
Whole roasted suckling pig with Quinces, potatoes, chorizo and smoked chilies
Shaved Jicama and Endive salad with fried avocados

Dessert:
Stewed peach tart

I chose to share my recipe for the Whole Roasted Suckling Pig :
Ingredients:
A 12-13 Lb Suckling pig
5 Quinces cored and cut to wedges
5 Russet potatoes peeled and  cut to 8 pieces each
2 pcs Chorizo sausage ,sliced to coins.
2 pcs dry smoked Chilies
¼ cup fresh marjoram leaves
¼ cup oil
salt and pepper

Method :
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Season the pig well inside and out – rub it with 2-3 tbsp oil and score the skin on both sides.
3. Insert 5-6 chorizo coins and a dozen marjoram leaves into the belly cavity.
4. In an oven proof dish or deep cooking tray – toss together the quinces, potatoes, and chorizo with salt, pepper and the rest of the oil. Place the pig on top of the potato mixture belly down.
5. Add 1 ½ cups water and the chilies. Roast until internal temp of 145 degrees F is achieved (about 3 hours). Make sure to baste the pig every 20-25 minutes.
6. Raise the temp to 375 degrees F for an additional 20 minutes in order to crisp the skin up even further, turning the pig frequently.
7. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving. Good Piggy!

From left : Maya,Mark,me( Eran),Ida,May(Birthday girl),Saki,Don,Mary,John(photos)

The Feasters

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