Serves 8-10

This is probably my favourite of all roasts, as it has that wonderful celebratory feeling and look when it arrives at the table. Most good butchers should be able to get you a suckling pig, but do order it now if you want it for Christmas lunch. A suckling pig probably won't fit whole in a standard oven, so you may want to chop it in half to cook it and just push it back together again afterwards.

1 suckling pig, weighing about 5-6 kilos
2-3tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
2tbsp flaky sea salt
1 head of garlic, halved
A few sprigs of rosemary

For the potatoes

8-10 baking potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Flatten the pig by just pushing down on its back so that it sits flat on its belly. Rub the skin of the pig with salt and leave for 30 minutes. Lightly season the potatoes and layer them up in one large or 2 smaller roasting trays, depending if you have a small or large oven.

Tuck the rosemary and garlic into the belly cavity and lay the pig directly on to the oven racks with the tray of potatoes on the rack below. Brush the pig with oil and cook for 1¼ hours. The skin should be nice and crisp and the largest leg joint hot in the middle when a skewer or sharp object is inserted. If not, just return it to the oven for another 30 minutes or so.

The potatoes should be nice and crisp on top; if not, you can finish them under the grill. Present the pig whole on a large board or tray, then chop it into pieces through the bone with a heavy knife.

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