Traditional Croatian Oven-Roasted Suckling Pig

There is nothing better on this Earth than an oven-roasted baby suckling pig. The following is my grandmother’s favorite traditional recipe! Let’s get started shall we? This one is short and sweet.


  • 1 whole 20 lbs suckling pig with head (or 1.5 lbs per guest)
  • 4 full soup spoons of salt
  • 8 whole soup spoons of lard
  • 1 bottle of Selo Oils extra virgin olive oil


  • Turn on the oven and heat to 250°F.
  • Pull piggy out of burlap rucksack and toss on baking sheet (I’m assuming you bought it hollowed out and prepared for roasting). At 20 lbs or less it should fit perfectly into your oven.
  • Rub salt all over. Back, front, sides. Scrub it in like your life depended on it. There is no such thing as too much salt at this stage of the process.
  • Smear the skin with eight full soup spoons of lard.
  • Cover piggy with aluminum foil all over.
  • Transfer piggy onto the lowest rack of the oven when it has reached 250°F and let roast for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  • Periodically poke piggy with thermometer to check internal temperature. The internal temperature should not exceed 130°F for this period.
  • Next, remove the foil, baste the outside with extra virgin olive oil, and increase the oven temperature to 400°F.
  • Continue roasting, basting all over with olive oil every 15 minutes until the internal temperature of piggy reaches about 160°F. Roast for another 45 minutes to 1 hour more.
  • Remove from oven and let rest for about 20 minutes.

Ask your guests if they like ground black pepper, then scrub a handful into piggy. Or not.

Take fork in one hand, and second utensil bread in other. Alternate between bites of pork and bites of bread (which should be lathered in olive oil), maintaining 1:1 ratio.

Enjoy! Dobar Tek.

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If you LOVE real extra virgin olive oil as much as I do, consider purchasing some of my own hand-picked, first cold pressed, extra virgin liquid gold, direct from my family farm in Croatia.

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