There are cuts of meat you don’t come across very often, one of them is suckling pig belly. So when I saw this at a butcher’s stand in the Stuttgart Markthalle during a recent business trip I did not have to think for long about buying it. To practice my meat tying skills I decided to turn it into a rolled roast.
Ingredients (serves 3 to 4):
- 1 full suckling pig belly, about 1.2 kg
- 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
- Thyme and rosemary to taste, fresh or dried
- Salt and pepper
- Preparation: 20 minutes
- Cooking: 90 minutes
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Completely de-bone the belly. You need a sharp knife and a bit of practice to do that. Season with salt and pepper, then rub with the garlic and sprinkle with herbs. Roll the belly lengthwise and tie with butcher’s twine. Place onto a grate and cook in the oven for 90 minutes. Turn on the grill in the final 10 minutes or so to get some crackling.
This can be served with sides of your choice. I simply had it with rosemary roast potatoes. Please note that this roast doesn’t give you significant amounts of gravy because there are hardly any drippings.
I originally cooked this roast at 200 degrees for 60 minutes but I found the amount of crisp skin not quite enough so I adjusted the recipe for a lower temperature and longer cooking time. You might also consider to use the convection feature of your oven. I usually avoid it but it might be better for a rolled roast.