One of our first purchases when we arrived in Jalón on Thursday 21st Dec, was the main event for our Christmas dinner. There are several pleasant things about running away from a British Christmas, not the least of which is the much lower key affair that Christmas is in Spain. From a culinary point of view, though, it’s also good to get into a country where more unusual [for us] food items are available. A traditional Christmas dinner in Spain tends to centre around sucking pig. They are available prepared and packed in all the supermarket, both frozen and fresh. Fortunately, since a whole sucking pig would too much for us, even though our friend Jim would be joining us, half sucking pigs, split lengthwise, are also available. We found a suitable looking fresh one with a best before date of 26th December so we didn’t need to freeze it. He was 3kgs and 28€ but, hey, it’s Christmas.
Christmas Piggy 2017 was a bit larger than we’d attempted before but fortunately he just about fitted the almost useless oven. [Note to self: if we ever start spending longer here, we should buy a better oven.] I sat him on a bed of vegetables – celery, carrot, parsnip and onion – mainly to keep him off the bottom of the thin roasting pan and stop him burning; they weren’t going to be edible after 2½ hours. Here’s Christmas Piggy wearing some SPF 50 ear covers to stop them burning, too.
Following a random recipe, I also put some water around the vegetables which would “help keep the flesh soft”. It did. I have a feeling that it also kept some of the skin soft, which was a shame. One of the delights of a roast sucking pig is crisp, wafer thin skin. We did have some but I think last year’s attempt sin agua worked better. Anyway, here’s Christmas Piggy after 2½ hours sporting an intense Spanish sun tan.
While Christmas Piggy was relaxing, we demolished blinis topped with cream cheese and a selection of smoked fish: tuna, cod and salmon, all decorated with a little red fake caviar to give them a festive look.
Having next demolished a good chunk of the now relaxed Christmas Piggy, we set about seeing off Francine’s excellent Tiramisini. She first made those last year and they’ve become an instant favourite. Yummy!
Finally, some cheese followed by a brandy or two to settle the stomach.
Un Feliz Navidad. 🙂