Rolled Suckling Pig with Marinated Vegetables and Quirquina Sauce
Like all fine barbecue, this dish has its secrets: the exact formula for the red barbecue sauce is never revealed. However, the unusual nature of this robust appetizer cannot be denied. What follows, then, is a description of the process, rather than a step-by-step recipe. If you can find a butcher who can dress a suckling pig for you, give this a try, adding your own favorite barbecue sauce and touches. Or make it using two boneless pork tenderloins, slicing the tenderloins so they can be “unrolled” and seasoned as thin flat sheets of pork, then rolled. Quirquina is popular in salads and salsas in Bolivia. It is used fresh, and is similar to cilantro. In other regions of the world, cilantro is more common and may be substituted.
- Suckling Pig - 10 to 10-1/2 pounds, dressed (opened at the belly, organs and ribs removed)
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Cumin - 1/4 teaspoon
- Pinch of ground cloves
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- Garlic Cloves - 2
- Chili Peppers - 3, seeded and chopped
- Mixed Herbs - 1 , chopped (parsley, sage, thyme)
- Vinegar - 1/4 cup
- Barbecue Sauce - 1 quart, favorite
- Pork Boil
- Chicken Stock - 4 cups
- Reserved bones - above
- Large Onions - 3, roughly chopped
- Carrots - 2, roughly chopped
- Celery Stalk - 3, including leaves
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Peppercorns - 8, lightly crushed
- Marinated Vegetables
- Small Onions - 8 to 10
- Carrots - 4, tourneed or cut into 1-inch pieces
- Zucchini - 2, tourneed or cut into 1-inch pieces
- Bird Peppers - 4
- Unsalted Butter - 1 tablespoon
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Quirquina Sauce
- Virgin olive oil - 1/2 cup
- Balsamic Vinegar - 1/3 cup
- Quirquina Leaves - 1/4 , finely (alt. cilantro leaves)
- White Onion - 1/4 , finely chopped
- Green Onion - 1, finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
The goal is to debone the pig, leaving only the lower leg bones and skull inside the carcass, preserving as much of the meat of the carcass as possible in the process.
Lay the pig on its back on a work surface and open out the carcass. Working with a heavy, sharp knife, sever the spinal column at the base of the head. Working from head to tail, sever the shoulder bones from the front legs and lift the shoulder bones. Work the knife between the backbone and the flesh of the back, freeing the spinal column. Sever the hip joints and hipbone saddle, and lift the spinal column, shoulder, and hipbones away from the body and meat; set the bones aside. Work the knife into the long bones of the front legs, sever the bone from each leg, and lift away, adding them to the other bones. Work the knife under the thigh bones, freeing them from the thigh meat; sever the bones at the “knee” joints and add to the bones. Wrap the bones and refrigerate. Wipe the interior of the carcass with cool water until clean. Sprinkle the cavity liberally with salt and pepper. Mix the ground cumin, cloves, and cinnamon and sprinkle in the cavity. Sprinkle in the garlic, chili peppers, and herbs. Drizzle the vinegar over the interior of the carcass, then brush liberally with barbecue sauce. Put the carcass in a large non-aluminum pan, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1-1/2 days.
Unwrap the carcass and drain. Place it on its back on a work surface. Work one side at a time. Fold in the meat along the right side and roll up tightly toward the center like a jellyroll, paralleling where the spine used to be. Fold in the meat along the left side and roll it tightly toward the center, meeting the other roll. Spread four layers of cheesecloth on the work surface and place the rolled pig on the cheesecloth. Tightly roll the cheesecloth around the pig, compressing the meat as you roll. Tie with kitchen string in 5 or 6 places along the length of the pig.
Bring a large pot of chicken stock, the reserved pork bones, and vegetables to a boil. Add the salt and pepper. Put the wrapped pig into the pot and add water as necessary to cover the meat by 1 inch. Cover the pot and simmer for 2 hours. Remove from the heat and cool for 20 minutes in the stock.
Remove the wrapped pig from the stock and place in a large pan. Cover with a sheet of foil and place heavy weights, such as bricks, on top. Refrigerate for two days, draining the pan as juices accumulate.
To prepare the sauce: Whisk the olive oil and vinegar together until emulsified. Whisk in the chopped quirquina, onion, and green onions. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
To prepare the vegetable medley: Shortly before serving, bring the chicken stock to a boil in a saucepan. Add the onions and cook 3 minutes. Add the carrots and cook 3 minutes. Add the peppers and cook 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook 2 minutes. Drain. Toss in the pan over medium heat to dry, then add the butter and toss to coat. Add the lemon juice and toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside; keep warm.
To serve: Remove the pig from the pan and place on a work surface. Unwrap. Slice diagonally, across the rolled up pork, into 1/2-inch slices. Place three slices off-center on each serving plate, overlapping them slightly. Whisk the quirquina sauce again and drizzle around the outer side of the slices. Arrange a mixture of vegetables beside the slices on each plate.