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Home > Restaurants > Recipes > Roasted Suckling Pig Porchetta With Pear-Cherry Mostarda

Roasted Suckling Pig Porchetta With Pear-Cherry Mostarda

Provided by: Chef Laurent Tourondel

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2 gallons water
1½ cups kosher salt
1 cup dark-brown sugar
24 sage leaves
2 rosemary sprigs
1 tbs. fennel seed
1 head garlic, halved
½ bunch thyme
1 tbs. whole black peppercorns
1 10-to-12-lb. suckling pig (ask your butcher to debone the pig whole with head on; available from Esposito Meat Market)

10 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 tbs. fennel seed
10 sage leaves, chopped
4 bay leaves, chopped
4 rosemary sprigs, leaves chopped
10 thyme sprigs, leaves removed
½ tbs. freshly ground black pepper
1 tbs. sea salt
2 pears, diced and peeled

White-bean salad
1 cup pancetta, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 cups Treviso radicchio, cut into small pieces
2 cups escarole, cut into small pieces
1½ cups cooked white beans
1 cup parsley, roughly chopped
1 red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup olive oil
2 tbs. red-wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pear-cherry mostarda
2 tbs. dried cherries
1 tbs. yellow mustard seeds
½ cup dry white wine
1 lemon, zest only
1 tbs. sugar
2 tbs. red-wine vinegar
2 Bartlett pears, peeled and diced
8 1-inch-thick slices toasted ciabatta


To brine and stuff the suckling pig: Two days before you plan to serve this dish, prepare an ice bath. In a large pot (minimum 5 gallons), bring all the brine ingredients to a simmer, stirring until well combined. Remove from heat and place in the ice bath to cool. Strain brine, and once cool, add the suckling pig, ensuring that it is completely submerged. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours. Remove the pig from the brine and pat dry. Place on a rack over a large rimmed baking pan and allow the pig to dry in the refrigerator for 12 hours. Combine all the stuffing ingredients in a large bowl. Lay the pig skin side up and score the skin with a sharp knife. Rub the stuffing mix over the whole cavity of the pig. Roll the pig into an even log, folding the tail under to seal. Tie every inch of the pig with butcher’s twine from tail to head.

To cook the suckling pig porchetta: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place pig on a large baking sheet with a V-rack or turkey rack and roast for 2 to 2½ hours, basting pig with pan juices every half-hour, until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Increase the temperature to 500 degrees and bake for an additional 20 to 30 minutes or until the skin is blistered and very crisp. Loosely cover with aluminum foil and allow the pig to rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

The white-bean salad: In a large pan over high heat, render and crisp the pancetta for about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the crispy pancetta pieces and reserve. In a large bowl, combine the hot pancetta with all the remaining salad ingredients and season with salt and pepper.

The pear-cherry mostarda: In a small pot set over medium heat, combine dried cherries, mustard seeds, white wine, lemon zest, sugar, and red-wine vinegar and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until cherries are plump and rehydrated, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the pears and reduce to a simmer. Continue to cook for about 15 minutes or until the pears are tender. Remove and hold warm.

To serve: Place a small amount of the warm white-bean salad on each plate, and top with a thick slice of porchetta, cutting it with a serrated knife; spoon some of the pan juices over and around the pork. Finish with a crostino of toasted country bread topped with the pear-cherry mostarda.

(Published 2015)