Juicy roast suckling pig paired with a sweet corn salad is an inspired combination from chefs Jimmy Bradley and Bill McDaniel.
FOR THE SUCKLING PIG:
1 (18-pounds or less) suckling pig, split and butterflied
5 white onions, large dice
1 large head celery, large dice
6 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 bunch thyme, rough chop
1 cup garlic cloves, smashed
6 cups apple juice
6 cups chicken stock
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
FOR THE TOMATILLO SALSA:
1 medium white onion
2 ripe avocados
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 jalepeno (seeded)
1/4 cup water
FOR THE WATERCRESS SALAD:
6 bunches watercress
1/4 cup shaved radishes
Lemon juice and olive oil
FOR THE TACOS:
1/2 white onion, sliced
Jalapeños, seeded and julienned
Chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper, to taste
Shredded pig meat (see step 4)
Tomatillo Salsa (see step 5)
FOR THE GRILLED CORN SALAD:
8 cups grilled corn, cut off the cob
2 cups julienned sugar snap peas
1 cup small-dice red onion
1 cup small-dice red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of 2 lemons
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. For the suckling pig: Pre-heat oven to 325°. Fill bottom of a large roasting pan with all the vegetables, garlic, and thyme. Season the pig on the flesh side. Place the pig, skin side up, on the vegetables.
2. Pour apple juice and chicken stock over the pig and season liberally with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Cook in oven for approximately 5 hours or until the meat easily pulls from the bone.
3. Remove from oven; gently remove pig from the roasting pan and let cool on a large pan or cooling rack.
4. When cool enough to handle, begin pulling all the meat from the carcass. Save the skin for other preparations and set meat aside. You can discard juices, or use to cook something else, like beans.
5. For the tomatillo salsa: Small-dice 6 tomatillos and reserve. Small-dice 1/2 of 1 avocado and reserve. Add the rest of the ingredients to a blender and puree. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into bowl and add the puree; mix. Reserve cold.
6. For the watercress salad: Toss all ingredients in a bowl and reserve.
7. For the tacos: Saute onion and 2 jalapeños with olive oil until transparent.
8. Add approximately 3 cups shredded pig. Saute with salt and pepper until meat starts to caramelize, then sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
9. For the grilled corn salad: Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and let sit for at least 1 hour. Recheck seasoning and serve.
10. To assemble: Fill tortillas with meat and tomatillo salsa, top with watercress salad. Repeat process until desired number of tacos are made; serve with grilled corn salad.
SERVES 12 – 15