- Yield: 16 servings
Smoked Suckling Pig with Miso-Brined Baby Turnips, Aged Cheddar Pierogies, Blueberry Salsa and Maple Gastrique
Recipe courtesy of James Terry, Executive Chef, Butterfield CC, Oak Brook, Ill.
- For Brine
- suckling pig - 1 25 to 30 lb.
- kosher salt - 45 ozs.
- water - 3 gallons
- ice - 32 lbs.
- garlic cloves - 40
- onions - 5, quartered
- lemons - 12, halved
- fresh sage leaves - 2 ozs.
- dry bay leaves - 12
- black peppercorns - 2 ozs.
- For Miso Braised Turnips
- baby turnips - 4 lbs., peeled and crop tops, halved
- unsalted butter - 1/4 lb., cubed
- rich vegetable stock - 1 1/2 cups
- sugar - 2 tsps.
- white miso - 3 Tbsps.
- For Aged Cheddar Pierogies
- unbleached all-purpose flour - 4 cups
- salt - 1 tsp.
- eggs - 2 large
- sour cream - 1 cup
- unsalted whole butter - 1/4 lb., softened
- mashed potatoes - 2 cups, warm
- Hooks aged cheddar cheese - 2 cups, shredded
- For Maple Gastrique
- pure maple syrup - 2 cups
- apple cider vinegar - 1 cup
- vanilla bean - 1, scraped
- whole cloves - 2
- black peppercorns - 6
- dried bay leaf - 1
- For Blueberry Salsa
- blueberries - 4 cups, 1/2 coarsely chopped, 1/2 whole
- shallot - 1 medium
- jalapeno - 1, seeded and minced
- fresh cilantro - 2 Tbsps., chopped
- lime juice - 2 Tbsps.
- fresh ginger - 2 tsps., minced
- kosher salt - 1/2 tsp.
- Bone out suckling pig, being very careful to leave the skin intact. Start with the ribs and work your way to the spine. When arriving at the spine, work toward the rear of the pig. Cut the rear trotter off and make an incision down the inner thigh to bone out rear hams.
- Then work toward the front of the pig. Make the same interior incision on the front legs to the trotter and then remove the trotter. Separate the spine from the skull and carefully remove the bones. Reserve the bones for stock.
- Remove the hams from the rear and slice them into three equal parts.
- Season the interior of the carcass liberally with salt and pepper. Season the three equal parts of the ham that were previously removed, and lay them down the center of the interior of the pork carcass.
- Roll the carcass skin-side out, into what resembles a tube or a pig rolled into a blanket. Before rolling all the way over, tuck in the skin where the hams once were.
- Tie the pig, starting behind the skull and working toward the rear of the pig. Using a small paring knife, gently pierce the outer layer of skin on the pig all over the exterior. This will allow the fat to render and skin to crisp up. Let pig rest in cooler until ready for 24-hour brine. Brine pig for 24 hours.
- Once brined for 24 hours, remove pig and prepare smoker to a temperature of 225º F. Add a pan filled with warm water to enhance the humidity in the chamber. Smoke pig in 225º F. smoker until it reaches an internal temperature of 150º F.
- Let pork rest, plate, slice and serve tableside.
- Add 3 gallons of water to a stock pot over high heat. Add all ingredients with exception of ice. Bring to a simmer until salt is dissolved.
- Remove from heat and add all ice. Chill brine below 40º F.
For Miso Braised Turnips
- Melt 2 tbsp. butter in sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add turnips flat side down and cook until golden brown and starting to soften.
- Add vegetable broth and sugar. Cook until turnips are tender, and liquid is almost evaporated.
- Incorporate miso and remaining butter together in bowl.
- Remove the turnips from heat and incorporate the miso butter into the residual stock, forming an emulsion. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For Aged Cheddar Pierogies
- Mix flour and salt. Add egg to flour mixture and combine. Next, work the sour cream and softened butter into the flour-egg mixture.
- Knead dough until it becomes less sticky. Wrap dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 60 minutes.
- Combine the mashed potatoes and shredded cheddar cheese. Stir until cheese is incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Chill mixture.
- To fill pierogi: Roll 1/4 of the dough to a thickness of 1/8”. Using a 3-inch ring cutter, cut out dough circles. Repeat with remaining dough. Place 2 teaspoons of filling in the center of each round. Fold dough in half and gently pinch sides with fingers, and then again with the tines of a fork. Refrigerate pierogies until use.
- To cook pierogi: Cook pierogies in a stock pot with boiling water in small batches until they float. Remove and place on perforated pan. Using a sauté pan over medium heat, heat whole butter until it begins to brown. Add pierogies in batches and sauté on both sides until brown and crispy. Place on sheet pan with c-fold towel and season with salt before serving.
For Maple Gastrique
- In a saucepan over medium heat, toast cloves and peppercorns. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer until mixture coats the back of a spoon.
- Strain mixture and reserve warm until ready to use.
For Blueberry Salsa
- Combine ingredients in mixing bowl, allowing 20-30 minutes for flavors to blend. Serve.