Recipe courtesy of Lackland Air Force Base

Suckling Pig Tacos

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 18 hr (includes brining and resting times)
  • Active: 1 hr 10 min
  • Yield: 6 to 10 servings
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1/2 cup honey

12 black peppercorns 

6 cloves garlic, crushed 

6 sprigs fresh thyme 

2 bay leaves 

2 lemons, halved and juiced

Kosher salt and pepper

1 suckling pig (about 12 pounds) 

Corn tortillas, for serving

Apple cider vinegar 

Pineapple Pico, recipe follows

Tomatillo Salsa, recipe follows

Pineapple Pico:

2 jalapenos, small-diced

Juice of 2 limes

1 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1 red onion, small-diced

1 red bell pepper, small-diced

1 pineapple, small-diced

Kosher salt 

Tomatillo Salsa:

6 medium tomatillos

1 jalapeno, stemmed

6 sprigs cilantro, roughly chopped

1/2 cup chopped white onion

Kosher salt 


  1. Make the brine by adding the honey, peppercorns, garlic, thyme, lemons and lemon juice, 1/2 cup salt and 6 cups water to a medium saucepot. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes to allow the flavor and aroma to build. Remove from the heat, add 4 cups of ice and stir until the ice has melted and the brine has cooled.
  2. Place the suckling pig in a double-lined trash bag and pour the brine over. Place in a cooler or refrigerate for 12 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
  4. Remove the pig from the brine, place it on a large baking sheet and pat dry. Sprinkle inside and outside with salt and pepper. Cover the pig's ears, snout and tail with aluminum foil. Cook for 4 to 4 1/2 hours (20 minutes per pound).
  5. Remove the foil from the ears, snout and tail. Let rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. To serve, warm up tortillas on a medium-hot grill or nonstick saute pan. Keep warm. Carve, pull or chop the roasted pig and hold warm. Taste and season with apple cider vinegar and salt as needed. Serve with Pineapple Pico and Tomatillo Salsa.

Pineapple Pico:

  1. Mix together the jalapenos, lime juice, cilantro, red onions, bell peppers and pineapple in a bowl. Season with salt.

Tomatillo Salsa:

  1. Preheat the broiler. Broil the tomatillos and jalapeno on a baking sheet placed 4 inches below the heat source, until darkly roasted and blackened in spots, about 5 minutes. Flip and broil until splotchy-black and blistered, 4 to 5 minutes more. Add the tomatillos and jalapeno, as well as the delicious juice that has run onto the baking sheet, to a blender. Add the cilantro and 1/4 cup water and blend to a coarse puree; scrape into a serving dish. Rinse the onions under cold water, then shake to remove the excess moisture; stir into the salsa. Season with salt, about a generous 1/4 teaspoon.