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 the staff of the Thunderbird hotel would be bringing out. 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.
Recipe (serves 6-8)
- 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