Recipe: To Roast Pig

Begin your preparations by making the stuffing. Take a sufficient quantity of grated stale bread, and mix it with sage and sweet marjoram rubbed fine or powdered; also some grated lemon-peel. Season it with pepper, salt, powdered nutmeg and mace; mix in butter enough to moisten it, and some beaten yolk of egg to bind it. Let the whole be very well incorporated.

The pig should be newly killed, (that morning if possible,) nicely cleaned, fat, and not too large. Wash it well in cold water, and cut off the feet close to the joints, leaving some skin all round to fold over the ends. Take out the liver and heart, and reserve them, with the feet, to make the gravy. Truss back the legs. Fill the body with the stuffing (it must be quite full) and then sew it up, or tie it round with a buttered twine. Put the pig on the spit, and place it before a clear brisk fire, but not too near lest it scorch. The fire should be largest at the ends, that the middle of the pig may not be done before the extremities. If you find the heat too great in the centre, you may diminish it by placing a flat-iron before the fire. When you first put it down, wash the pig all over with salt and water; afterwards rub it frequently with a feather dipped in sweet oil, or with fresh butter tied in a rag. If you baste it with any thing else, or with its own dripping, the skin will not be crisp. Take care not to blister or burn the outside by keeping it too near the fire. A good sized pig will require at least three hours’ roasting.

Unless a pig is very small it is seldom sent to table whole. Take the spit from the fire, and place it across a large dish: then, having cut off the head with a sharp knife, and cut down the back, slip the spit out. Lay the two halves of the body close together in the dish, and place half the head on each side. Garnish with sliced lemon.
For the gravy,–take, that from the dripping-pan and skim it well. Having boiled the heart, liver, and feet, with some minced sage in a very little water, cut the meat from the feet, and chop it. Chop also the liver and heart. Put all into a small Sauce-pan, adding a little of the water that they were boiled in, and some bits of butter rolled in flour. Flavour it with a glass of Madeira, and some grated nutmeg. Give it a boil up, and send it to table in a gravy-boat.

You may serve up with the pig, apple-Sauce, cranberry Sauce, or bread-Sauce in a small tureen; or currant jelly.

If you bake the pig instead of roasting it, rub it from time to time with fresh butter tied in a rag.

Directions for Cookery, In Its Various Branches.
Ladies and Professional Cooks.
Containing
The Whole Science and Art of Preparing Human Food. (Year 1840)