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As the last days of Summer fade and the BBQ is put away, it lovely to welcome back soups, stews, braised meats and of course roast dinners.  There is truly nothing more comforting than a roast dinner on a chilly Sunday.  Whether it’s a pub lunch with friends or a full dinner with all the trimmings with family, Sundays were made for roasts.

Last week my butcher had suckling pig roasts and one just had to come home with me! Despite my recent week-long pulled pork extravaganza the suckling pig roasts looked too good to pass up – after all suckling pig roasts are not something see you see everyday.

This was the first time I’ve cooked a suckling pig needless to say I was a little nervous. I didn’t want to ruin my baby pig. I knew I wanted have a tender moist roast with crispy crackling, and without a recipe to work from I decided to play safe with classic seasonings and to slow roast the pig leg.

I left the roast tied but cut diagonal patterns in the skin to ensure my crackling would crisp. I seasoned the leg joint with salt and pepper and inserted garlic cloves into the meat for flavor.

Placing the meat onto the rack in my roasting pan I filled the bottom of the pan with chicken stock, 4 sprigs of thyme, 1/4 small onion sliced, and 1 bay leaf.

IMG_1103Covering the pan, I roasted the pig at 300F till the internal temp was 160F – approximately 2.5 hours.

Once it was finished cooking I removed the skin, placed it on a baking tray and put it back in the oven at 425F to crisp. Approximately 20 mins.

IMG_1106In the meantime I prepared the gravy by bringing the remaining stock to a boil, adding  worcestershire sauce for colour and gravy flour to thicken. Season to taste with pepper. I strained the gravy before serving to remove the onion, bay leaf, and thyme leaves.

I served roast pig leg with roasted parsnip, honey glazed carrots, and garlic sautéed spinach.

IMG_1108There was really nothing not to love about this easy roast dinner – the meat was juicy and flavorful and the sides were a great combination or sweet and savory. Making gravy is definitely ‘my thing’ – my Mom is the ultimate Queen of gravy making and she taught me well. I never can understand why people don’t make their own it is just so easy. The drippings from the skin and fresh thyme made for a delicious gravy. My tip on gravy would be don’t be afraid and don’t try to over complicate it – drippings, stock, gravy flour for easy blending, and season.  The drippings from the meat should really do most of the work.

IMG_1109The left over meat and gravy made for easy Monday dinner of hot sandwiches. Yum!!

Hope you are all enjoying Fall and are loving welcoming back your favorite stews and roast dinners as much as I am!!

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