Nope, no otherworldly intervention that I know of when it comes to cooking our lechons… Just a lot of honest, hard work. Start with a good pig, not from a commercial piggery if possible. Fatten it up and calm it down by overseeing its last few weeks of life in comfortable and pleasant surroundings with lots of good food. Slaughter it as humanely as you can slaughter humanely, that’s any oxymoron of sorts, I guess. Stuff it with abundant, fresh, flavorful ingredients and natural sea salt (not iodized, and definitely no MSG) and baste it with fresh coconut water and olive oil over a carefully tended charcoal fire. No painting the skin with soy sauce or other ingredients, and don’t worry if the skin looks puffy and irregular. Focus less on the appearance and more on taste. That’s all there is to it.
Folks keep asking “so what’s the secret?” and there isn’t any. Long-time readers of the blog know how this all started, and it goes back years to that very first time I asked “why don’t lechons today taste like they used to?” and from there a series of experiments yielded the lechon we cook and sell today at Zubuchon. Then again, who knows, I wouldn’t put it past my grandmother or mother to keep a really close eye on the lechonan, making sure most (nope, not all) of the lechons would pass muster if they were around to taste them. And with the sunlight piercing through the smoke as it does in these photos, above, it’s a nice thought… :)