El Lechoncito de Mamita Naty

El Lechoncito de Mamita Naty

David Loftus

Mamita Naty’s Roast Suckling Pig. If you love pork, this simple suckling pig recipe, which is inspired by my granny’s version, will make your wildest dreams come true. It’s a sharing dish that can go very far, but do measure your oven before you buy the meat and ask your butcher to cut the pig in half if necessary. It’s delicious with roast potatoes and veg, or simply shredded and served in a toasted bun.


Quantity Ingredient
1 whole suckling pig
16 medium-heat red chillies
1 tablespoon plain flour
freshly ground black pepper

For the marinade

Quantity Ingredient
300ml orange juice
30 physalis, pureed
125ml pisco or vodka
8 garlic cloves, crushed
5 tablespoons ground cumin
2 oranges, zested

For the apple sauce

Quantity Ingredient
1kg cooking apples, peeled, cored and roughly sliced
2 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
4 medium-heat red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
3 tablespoons yacon syrup or light soft brown sugar


  1. Combine all the marinade ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Then, cut deep slits all over the pig, about 3–4cm apart. Put the marinade and the pig into a large bag, then double bag for good measure and leave it in the fridge for 24 hours, turning the pig within the bag at least once during this time.
  2. Remove the pig from the fridge for 2–3 hours before you want to cook, to return it to room temperature. Just before you are ready to roast, preheat the oven to 220°C.
  3. Put the suckling pig on a very large roasting tray and season heavily with salt. Wrap the head, trotters and tail in foil, then place in the oven for 15–20 minutes until the skin turns golden.
  4. Lower the oven temperature to 150°C and roast the pig for a further 3–4 hours depending on the weight (3 hours for a 5kg pig; 3 1/2 hours for a 6kg pig; 4 hours for a 7kg pig). After the first 2 hours, check the pig every 30 minutes to make sure it isn’t browning too quickly – if it looks in danger of burning, reduce the oven temperature slightly. Baste regularly throughout roasting. Then, 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time, unwrap the head, trotters and tail and add the whole chillies to the tray. The pig is cooked when the juices run clear. Then, remove the tray from the oven, transfer the pig to a warmed serving platter, loosely cover with foil and leave it to rest. Spoon off any fat from the roasting tin and strain off the pan juices. Sprinkle the flour into the tin, scrape up any brown bits, then gradually add back the juices to make a gravy over a medium heat. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  5. To make the apple sauce, put the apple in a saucepan with the spices, chillies and syrup or sugar over a low heat, then add 150ml of water. Simmer for 5–6 minutes until the sugar (if using) has dissolved and the apples have collapsed into a sauce. Remove the spices just before serving alongside the whole pig.
Martin Morales
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