Cochinillo Recipe (Roast Suckling Pig) Stuffed with Atchara Rice

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A roast-suckling pig is a thing of beauty. Feel free to shed a tear or 2 for this beautiful roast suckling pig, only about 2 – 3 weeks old, a cochinillo recipe prepared just for you!

Hi everyone! It’s April from Relax lang Mom blog. As the Christmas season approaches, I thought I’d share one of my favorite holiday recipes – Cochinillo recipe or roast suckling pig stuffed with atchara rice. While it may seem intimidating, I’m here to “oink” you gently through preparing this pork party in your own kitchen.

Cochinillo is such a classic Christmas dish here in the Philippines. Many families go all out and prepare an entire suckling pig over an outdoor grill or oven. But I know not all of us have the means or space for that. This version lets you enjoy all the flavors of cochinillo in a more manageable package.

This roast suckling pig Cochinillo Recipe was prepared by Chef Jessie, at the Culinary Elite Series Cooking Class for her Filipino Christmas Table where she prepared Pinoy Christmas recipes for The Maya Kitchen that delighted the whole class. Understandably, this is the centerpiece of the entire table.

Cochinillo, or roast suckling pig, is a delicious tradition in Spanish cuisine. We eagerly listened for the tips and tricks on preparing the roast suckling pig, and I had my pen ready to jot down anything. Since it’s a roast suckling pig, we were prepared to probably sweat a lot to cook it. Turns out that it was not that hard at all!

Sourcing Your Cochinillo

The real challenge of making “Cochi” as it’s fondly called by Kuya Marvin A of Secret Kitchen. would be finding a small enough pig – just about 3 to 4 kilos, that will fit in your biggest pot. While suckling pigs are much smaller than the regular lechon you will see, there’s not a lot of big pots that will fit the pig in the usual Filipino Kitchen.

For sourcing the pig, ask your friendly butcher weeks ahead before you need it. Sometimes, they are hard to order. Chef Jessie mentioned that she order hers from a pig dealer in Marinduque and she did say that you can call her restaurant in Rockwell if you need one. ;)

Chef Jessie’s technique for the Roast Suckling Pigis like cooking the Max Fried Chicken I posted a couple of months ago, where you boil the meat first. It’s easier this way and I think this makes it less of a guesswork if your meat is cooked or not. Also, this makes sure that your meat is soft and not overcooked in the roasting process of the suckling pig.

Check the video to see how we prepared it. The pig is so darn cute!

How to make this Cochinillo Recipe

To begin, prepare your ingredients for boiling the suckling pig. In a large stock pot, bring 10 liters of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Once boiling, add your whole suckling pig that is 6-8lbs. Allow the pig to boil for 45 minutes until the meat is very tender. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels.

While the pig boils, prepare the atchara rice stuffing. In a saucepan, cook the rice, preferably use a day old rice that’s been put in the fridge overnight for better atchara rice. Allow to cool completely before using as filling.

To assemble, carefully remove all of the boiled pig’s seasonings and stuffings. Scoop out all the innards and fat pockets. Generously pack the cavity full of the cooled atchara rice stuffing. Truss the pig closed with kitchen twine. Place in a baking dish and roast at 170F for 1 1/2 hours until skin is crispy. Slice and serve warm with your favorite Filipino sides. Mmm let the oinking begin!

One last thing! Make sure to clean your suckling pig thoroughly before cooking, making sure that the ears and feet are clean. Sometimes there are those pesky hairs too. Make sure to remove them!

Alternative Cochinillo Stuffings

While Atchara Rice is such a delicious cochinillo stuffing, here are alternative rice ideas that might tickel your fancy.

  • Adobo Rice – Cook rice in the savory vinegar, garlic and soy sauce mixture for the iconic Filipino dish. The subtly sour notes will complement the pork perfectly.
  • Mango Salsa Rice – Dice ripe mango, red onion, cilantro and jalapeño. Toss with hot cooked rice and a squeeze of lime. A tropical take on the stuffing.
  • Bacon and Egg Rice – Chop cooked bacon pieces and scramble a dozen eggs into hot rice for a rich breakfast-inspired filling.
  • Mushroom Risotto Rice – Sauté mixed mushrooms then stir into arborio rice simmered with white wine and vegetable broth until creamy. So luxe inside that little piggy!
  • Crab Aligue Rice – My mouth is watering just with the thought of it. I expect the briny creaminess of the crab will be such an incredible surprise next to the rich pork!

When it comes to satisfying the senses, cochinillo is a real crowd-pleaser. The crispy skin crackles while the meat tenderly pulls apart. Each bite delivers a surprise sensation as the tart and savory atchara cuts through the fatty pork. It’s the perfect party centerpiece for potlucks, fiestas or holiday gatherings. Just be sure to save me a plate – there’s no way this girl is missing out on piggy paradise!

That’s my twist on cochinillo to wow your family. To get more creative recipes and mom hacks, sign up for my “Relax Lang Mom!” newsletter. You’ll receive a new email each week with simple strategies for happy, healthy home cooking.

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