During his pursuit of Scaramanga in a mangrove swamp in The Man with the Golden Gun (1965), set in Jamaica, a wounded, hungry and slightly feverish James Bond allows his mind to wander. As his thoughts turn to food, he imagines all the dishes that might have been served at a lunchtime buffet that Scaramanga had promised. Among the items are stuffed sucking-pig with rice and peas. Too hot for the time of day, Bond considers, but a feast nonetheless. At the end of Live and Let Die (1954), Quarrel prepares sucking-pig for James and Solitaire, but we don’t know whether it’s been stuffed or not. My recipe for stuffed sucking (or suckling) pig is based on a Jamaican recipe dated to 1965* and is therefore contemporary with The Man with the Golden Gun. Given that sucking pig is not readily available on the supermarket shelves (at least, in the UK), I have adapted the recipe for pork loin. When preparing the recipe, I happened to cook a 2.2kg piece of pork, which serves 6-8 and is as much a feast as the sucking-pig itself.
- Pork loin joint
- Salt and pepper
For the stuffing
- 130g chickpeas, cooked
- 70g breadcrumbs (approx. 2 slices of bread)
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 2 tsp capers
- 6-8 olives
- 1 tsp thyme, chopped
- ½ tsp allspice
- Salt and pepper
Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan-assisted; 350F). Tear the bread into pieces and put them into a food processor. Add the chickpeas, garlic, capers, olives thyme, allspice, some freshly-cracked pepper and a pinch of salt. Process the ingredients until they form a paste. (If no food processor is available, use ready-made breadcrumbs, crush the chickpeas, chop the olives and capers, and mix all the ingredients thoroughly in a bowl.)
Place the pork skin-side down on the chopping board or work-surface. Cut the pork in half lengthwise, starting from the side of the loin. Stop cutting just before reaching the other side and open the loin out like a book. Spread the stuffing mixture over the surface of the lower half and flip the other side back over, effectively creating a stuffing sandwich. Bring the two sides of the pork together and tie string around the joint to secure the sides and form a roll. Place the pork in a roasting tin, skin-side up, and rub salt and pepper into the skin. Cook the pork in the oven for 2-2½ hours, depending on weight.
When it is cooked, remove the pork from the oven and rest it for about 20 minutes. Serve with rice and peas.
*Slater, M, 1965 Cooking the Caribbean Way, Spring Books, London