This is a do-at-home version of the most amazing whole roast pigs we saw at Messeni Market, near Kalamata. They were set out on huge boards and the vendors cut big chunks with sharp cleavers. I was determined to work out my own way of doing it!

Talk to your butcher about this cut of pork. I found Peters Meats, who have national distribution, very helpful. The idea is to get a half saddle i.e. the loin with the belly attached, in a size which will fit in your oven. Measure your oven first and tell the butcher what size.

Serves
20

Preparation

10min

Cooking

3hr
30min

Skill level

Mid
By
Average: 3.6 (14 votes)
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Ingredients

  • 1 pork loin with belly (around 5 kg)
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) lemon juice (approx. 2 lemons), skins reserved
  • 1½ tbsp (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • dried rigani (Greek oregano)

Lemon potatoes

  • 8 medium (1.6 kg) potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthways
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) lemon juice (approx. 2 lemons), skins reserved
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup (125 ml) chicken stock or water

Cook's notes

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.

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 170°C (150°C fan-forced). Lay the pork on a rack in a deep baking dish.

2. Combine the lemon juice and olive oil. Brush the pork cavity with this mixture using the oregano as a brush. Turn the pork over so the skin is uppermost, and place the lemon skins underneath. Place a meat thermometer in the thickest part.

3. Add salt to the lemon juice mixture. Baste the exterior of the pork with this mixture and roast for 1 hour.

4. After 1 hour, increase the heat to 190°C (170°C fan-forced). Place the potatoes in a baking dish and pour over the lemon juice, olive oil and chicken stock, and place in the oven with the pork. After 30 minutes, stir the potatoes, and if the top of the pork is uneven you may need to rotate the baking dish to ensure even browning.

5. After 2 hours total cooking time, check the pork and stir the potatoes. Increase the temperature to 200°C (180°C fan-forced) and return to the oven for another 30 minutes, or continue to cook until done.

6. Remove the pork from the oven to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and rigani. Use a cleaver to cut into large chunks and serve.

Note
• Add salt to the lemon and olive oil basting mixture after you baste the cavity, as salting the cavity will dry the meat.