Photo: Jen Causey; Styling: Lindsey Lower, Rishon Hanners

A traditional pork dish from Spain, lechón is a suckling pig that's roasted. The pig is the star here, so make sure you properly source it. This home adaptation of a classic pig roast offers all the flavors you want in any pork product but is spiked with the delicious citrus-herbiness of the mojo. You can make the mojo up to 3 days ahead. You'll need an injection needle which can be found in the BBQ section of grocery stores.

Serves 12


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20 garlic cloves
1 bunch cilantro, trimmed
1 cup loosely packed fresh oregano leaves
5 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 cups olive oil, divided
4 cups fresh orange juice (about 8 oranges)
4 cups fresh lime juice (about 10 limes)
1 (15- to 18-lb.) whole suckling pig


Active: 1 Hours
Marinate: 8 Hours
Bake: 5 Hours
Total: 14 Hours

1. Place garlic, cilantro, oregano, salt, pepper, cumin, and 1/2 cup of the oil in a blender. Slowly add orange and lime juice, and pulse until smooth, 10 to 12 times. Remove 1 cup marinade mixture, and reserve for later use.

2. Place pig in a container that is large enough to accommodate its size. Thoroughly coat with remaining marinade mixture, rubbing all over pig. Cover container, and chill 8 to 24 hours, basting occasionally.

3. Preheat oven to 275°F. Place a wire rack in a large, aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. Remove pig from marinade, and place on rack, discarding marinade.

4. Inject pig all over with reserved 1 cup marinade mixture, and rub with remaining 1 cup oil. Roast pig in preheated oven until a meat thermometer inserted into the shoulder joint close to the head registers 160°F, about 4 hours, rotating pan, if necessary. Increase oven temperature to 425°F, and roast until skin is golden brown and crispy, about 1 hour. Let rest 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Created date

September 2016