Giovanni Pilu of Pilu restaurant in Sydney's Freshwater shares his oven roasted suckling pig with pumpkin recipe. This dish is best paired with a light to medium-bodied Mediterranean red to complement the pork. So pour a glass of the Claymore Blackbird Sangiovese for a mouth-watering pairing!
½ suckling pig, halved lengthways (about 2.5kg), head removed
Fine cooking salt
100ml pouring cream
1.5kg Butternut pumpkin, juiced (approx. 950ml)
30g Dijon mustard
8ml tarragon oil
30ml lemon juice
Salt to taste
Slow cooked pumpkin
1/2 Butternut pumpkin
Recipe by Giovanni Pilu
Photography by John Paul Urizar
Styling by Michaela Le Compte
1. Remove the pig from the fridge 1-2 hours before cooking. Cover and set aside in a cool place to come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 110ºC. Place pig, skin-side up, on a rack on a large baking tray, rub with olive oil and cover skin generously with salt. Place in oven and roast for three hours.
2. Remove from the oven, using a clean, damp cloth, brush off all of the salt and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Clean the roasting rack and place pig, skin-side up, back on the rack on the baking tray. Increase oven temp to 220ºC, return the pig to the oven for about 20-25 minutes, until skin is crisp.
1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, reduce the pumpkin juice until 350ml remains. Strain the juice through a fine mesh chinois. Transfer to a blender and, with the machine running, add the mascarpone, mustard and tarragon oil. Season with lemon juice and salt.
2. Meanwhile, heat labneh and cream in small pan for approx. 3 minutes until well combined.
Slow cooked pumpkin
1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Peel the butternut pumpkin and cut in pieces about 2cm thick. Place on a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and roast for approx. 20 minutes – pumpkin needs to be slightly firm.
2. Remove from oven, and allow to cool. Cut into 8cm rectangles. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy based pan and cook on all sides until golden in colour.
3. To serve, cut pig into approx. 10 x 10cm pieces. Smear two tablespoons of puree on a plate, drizzle with the labne cream. Arrange portion of pig on the plate and arrange pumpkin batons.