Mrs Beeton Roast Suckling Pig
This is an
original Mrs. Beeton recipe taken from her famous book,
Beeton’s Book of Household Management. Both the quantities and text
have been reproduced as originally published, with the exception of a
little reformatting of the ingredient list to make it easier to follow.
1oz = 25g
1lb = 450g
1 gill =
1 teacup =
1 pint =
1 quart =
Pig, 6 oz. of bread crumbs,
pepper and salt to taste,
a piece of butter the size of an egg,
salad oil or butter to baste with,
about 1/2 pint of gravy,
1 tablespoonful of lemon-juice.
Mode.—A sucking-pig, to be eaten in perfection, should not be more than three
weeks old, and should be dressed the same day that it is killed. After preparing
the pig for cooking, as in the preceding recipe, stuff it with finely-grated
bread crumbs, minced sage, pepper, salt, and a piece of butter the size of an
egg, all of which should be well mixed together, and put into the body of the
pig. Sew up the slit neatly, and truss the legs back, to allow the inside to be
roasted, and the under part to be crisp. Put the pig down to a bright clear
fire, not too near, and let it lay till thoroughly dry; then have ready some
butter tied up in a piece of thin cloth, and rub the pig with this in every
part. Keep it well rubbed with the butter the whole of the time it is roasting,
and do not allow the crackling to become blistered or burnt. When half-done,
hang a pig-iron before the middle part (if this is not obtainable, use a flat
iron), to prevent its being scorched and dried up before the ends are done.
Before it is taken from the fire, cut off the head, and part that and the body
down the middle. Chop the brains and mix them with the stuffing; add 1/2 pint of
good gravy, a tablespoonful of lemon-juice, and the gravy that flowed from the
pig; put a little of this on the dish with the pig, and the remainder send to
table in a tureen. Place the pig back to back in the dish, with one half of the
head on each side, and one of the ears at each end, and send it to table as hot
as possible. Instead of butter, many cooks take salad oil for basting, which
makes the crackling crisp; and as this is one of the principal things to be
considered, perhaps it is desirable to use it; but be particular that it is very
pure, or it will impart an unpleasant flavour to the meat. The brains and
stuffing may be stirred into a tureen of melted butter instead of gravy, when
the latter is not liked. Apple sauce and the old-fashioned currant sauce are not
yet quite obsolete as an accompaniment to roast pig.
Time.—1–1/2 to 2 hours for a small pig.
Average cost, 5s. to 6s.
Sufficient for 9 or 10 persons.
Seasonable from September to February.
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