Anerys injects the under layer of skin on the pig with her orange marinade before cooking it in her special China box. It is a portable roasting oven imported from Florida in the United States, which has a grill frame for the pig to sit in. A tray of hot coals sits on top of the box and provides enough heat to cook the pig within. The lid of the box totally encloses the pig so that heat surrounds the meat. It was given the curious name of "China box" because, as the story goes, any clever invention in Cuba was known as Chinese. If you don’t want to use a needle to inject the skin of the pig, score the skin to allow the marinade to penetrate through to the underlayer of fat for extra flavour.
- 1 whole piglet approx. 6–8 kg
- 1 litre orange juice
- ¼ litre lemon juice
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 bunch oregano
- 1 bunch thyme
- 2 tsp salt
- bay leaves
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 15 minutes
In a blender add the orange and lemon juice, and the chopped garlic. Remove the leaves from the herbs and add to the juice along with salt and blend.
Strain the juice and keep the herbs to one side. Flatten the piglet so it will sit within a grill frame.
Fill the needle with the herb flavoured juice and inject at evenly spaced points across the skin of the piglet.
Leave it to rest for 15 minutes. Score the skin then place in the China box for about 3–4 hours. Turn every hour for even cooking.