Leitao (Oven Roasted Suckling)

Nostalgia Leitao
Leitao (Oven Roasted Suckling)
A simple and easy to follow recipe provided by my friend Margarida from Nostalgia Restaurant in Raia - Goa. Enjoy!

1 Suckling Pig (3 or 4 Kg)
3 pods Garlic
100gms Ginger
6 Green Chilies
1 tablespoon Cumin seeds
1 tablespoon Peppercorn
2 tablespoon Salt
4 tablespoon Lime juice
4 tablespoon Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon powder
1/2 teaspoon Clove powder
1/2 teaspoon Chilli powder
1 teaspoon powder of Malagueta (The little red chilli or Put Ki Pari or Piri Piri)

Clean the suckling, remove all the organs, keep aside to use for Sorpotel. Do not make a very big cut under belly to remove all organs. After cleaning means shaving, cutting, removing etc. Wash it inside and outside well.

Prick with a fork well inside and well as outside.

Apply the salt, followed by vinegar/lime juice and lastly the ground masala mixed with dry ingredients.

Place a carrot in it's mouth before freezing and leave it there, as later after it goes into rigor mortis it is difficult to open the mouth.

Keep overnight in fridge or freezer.

Next day, place it in a tray lined with banana leaf. You could also use foil if leaf is not available.

Before putting in the oven, pour some red wine which will give it a lovely colour and make the skin crackle/crispy.

Check for colour and prick the skin every now and again to see if done. You may dab the oil in the tray on it if too dry.

The oven should not be too high as it could burn the skin.

Wrap the tail and ears with foil to prevent burning. Being tender it tends to blacken and burn.

When 3/4 done, pour some more wine and let it cook for a little more time.

It's a slow process as the meat has to cook.You can also throw some jacket potatoes in the tray along with some onions and tomatoes. They will be roasted with the juices that gather in the tray. Test for checking if done is by inserting a thin skewer into one corner of the skin...if no blood oozes and it comes clean means it is done

If the carrot in the mouth has softened or burnt change it for a fresh one or any other fruit/veg you wish as garnish as by now the teeth would be open that much to allow inserting.

When done, place in a platter, tie a bow around the neck and garnish the platter with cut sweet lime slices/lettuce/spring onions curled and cherry tomatoes.

To be carved with the carving set, then to be devoured.


Wishing you all the best and with loads of love from Goem.