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Barbecued Suckling Pig

Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
3h 20 mins
Total Time
3h 30 mins

This is the best suckling pig recipe I’ve made. The crackling is super-crunchy, the meat just falls apart and the prep work is minimal. There is no need to score or puncture holes in the skin. The day before, the suckling pig is poached in the oven for 3 hours in a bed of vegetables, aromatic herbs, wine and stock until the meat is soft and tender. The cooked suckling pig is then sandwiched between two baking trays with some weights on top, pressing the meat down and kept in the fridge overnight. The next day you only need to light your barbecue, brush the suckling pig with oil and cook for about 10 minutes on each side or until crispy. My search is over for the perfect suckling pig recipe.


  • 2.5Kg boneless suckling pig
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 litre of fresh chicken stock
  • 500ml white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 peppercorns
  • 4 sprigs of thyme, picked and finely chopped
  • ½ lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes.
  2. Cut the garlic bulb in half around its diameter and lightly rub the skin of the boneless suckling pig. Season all over with sea salt. Place the suckling pig in a large roasting tin with the garlic, chopped vegetables, white wine, chicken stock, herbs and drizzle some good quality extra virgin olive oil. Cover with tin foil and cook for 3 hours.
  3. Remove the suckling pig from the oven and leave it to cool slightly in the stock. Line a flat baking tray with cling film. Carefully lift the suckling pig into the tray and make sure you get rid of any bits of vegetables or herbs as they will end up pressed into the pork. Cover the suckling pig with another sheet of cling film and cover with a flat tray or dish – the tray must be completely flat as any indentations will be pressed into the pork. Weigh the suckling pig down with another dish or some cans and leave to cool in the fridge overnight. Strain the juices into a jug or small saucepan, cover and chill.
  4. The next day, heat the barbecue to medium hot, there will be white ash over the hot coals, it usually takes about 40 minutes after lighting. Unwrap the suckling and place on a board. Trim the uneven edges so that you have a neat sheet of meat and set aside until ready to cook. Lift off any bits of fat from the braising juices and tip what will now be jelly into a saucepan, then bubble down by about two-thirds until starting to become slightly syrupy. Add the chopped thyme and a squeeze of lemon juice, to taste.
  5. Lightly brush the suckling pig with some oil and place the pig skin side down on the barbecue and cook for about 10 minutes on each side or until crispy. Serve the barbecued suckling pig on a board with some barbecued vegetables, your choice of potatoes and the thyme and lemon cooking juices.


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