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Roast Suckling Pig with Apples and Spring Vegetables, by Marco Pierre White

06 September 2007
Roast Suckling Pig with Apples and Spring Vegetables, by Marco Pierre White

Cochon de lait rôti à la printanière, jus marjolaine

1 x 6 kg suckling pig, head off
vegetable oil
salt and freshly ground white pepper

Garnish
32 each of baby carrots, baby leeks and small asparagus spears
24 baby fennel bulbs
32 baby new potatoes, peeled
100 g unsalted butter
50 g small marjoram leaves
Jus Rôti (see below)
24 sprigs of chervil

Apple sauce
6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
50 g unsalted butter
juice of 1/2 lemon
pinch of caster sugar

1. Ask your the butcher to bone the pig and roll it so that it looks like a whole loin with skin all the way round. Also ask him to tie the roll and then score the skin lightly.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
3. Brush the joint with a little vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in a roasting tin and roast for 11/2 hours, turning every 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, blanch the carrots, leeks, asparagus and fennel, in separate pans of boiling salted water to retain the individual flavours, until al dente, then drain and refresh in iced water. Cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender; drain. Set all the vegetables aside.
5. To make the apple sauce, sweat the apple dice in the butter with the lemon juice and sugar until the apples have broken down into a purée. Keep warm.
6. When the meat is cooked, take it out of the oven and remove the crackling. Return the crackling to the oven, at a higher temperature, to crisp up. Allow the meat to rest, covered to keep warm.
7. To reheat the baby vegetables and potatoes, warm them gently in an emulsion made from melting the butter with a little water. Season with a little salt as required.
8. Put the marjoram into the jus rôti and warm gently.
9. To serve, cut the meat into 1 cm slices and place an equal number of slices on each warmed plate. Arrange the drained baby vegetables and potatoes neatly over the meat with some crackling on top. Pour the marjoram sauce over the meat and the vegetables and garnish with sprigs of chervil. Serve the warm apple sauce on the side.

Shortcut: Instead of jus rôti, you could make the marjoram sauce using the roasting juices from the tin with half a chicken stock cube and a little water.

Jus Rôti

This sauce is virtually a concentrated essence of roast meat juices. It can be made with either lamb (as here), or with chicken if it is to be served with poultry or game birds. This is a wonderful accompaniment to Roast Suckling Pig.

Makes 8 portions
an average shoulder of lamb
olive oil
200 ml Chicken Stock
200 ml Veal Stock

1. Pre-heat the oven to 140°C.
2. Roast the lamb for 11/2 hours, using very little oil in the tray.
3. Remove from the oven and add the stocks and 200 ml water to the roasting tray. Bring quickly to the boil on the hob, then remove the lamb from the liquid. Place it on a wire rack over the roasting tin.
4. Wrap plastic film very tightly over the top of the lamb and squeeze hard to drain all the meat juices into the roasting tray. Keep squeezing until no more liquid is forthcoming.
5. Discard the meat - or feed to the dog or cat - because in removing all the juices you have also removed all the flavour. Reduce the liquid to concentrate the flavour. When cold the essence can be stored in the fridge for up to a week or for 3 months in the freezer.

By Marco Pierre White, Marco Pierre White in Hell's Kitchen, courtesy of Edbury Press

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