When my rep from D’Artagnan texted me to ask if I wanted a suckling pig, how could I say no? Normally they are special order, but he had a cancellation and neither of us wanted it to go to waste. So having never worked with suckling pig, I took a 25 pounder home to experiment.
Confronted with its cute little face and curly tail, D. and I did experience some pangs of guilt, but took some solace in knowing that at least our pig had been humanely raised and slaughtered. We promised to honor the animal by using it to make the most delicious food we could, and that we would not waste an ounce. We then proceeded to carefully break it down into hams, bellies, shoulder, loins, trotters, and yes, head.
I immediately put one of the hams into a brine of salt, sugar and herbs, and salted the bellies to make pancetta. The rest were vacuum sealed and stored in the freezer.
This morning we roasted the ham. It was so small, it only took one hour! During the last few minutes of roasting we brushed the ham with a mixture of dijon mustard, honey, and black pepper and blasted the oven to crisp the skin a bit.
As ham rested, I baked some cheese biscuits and poached a few eggs. Meanwhile, D. was kind enough to mix us a couple Old Fashions that paired perfectly with our lovely boxing day brunch.