Kunekune “Suckling Pig” Oven Roaster – Sweet & Spicy Rub


This preparation was a “suckling pig” sized oven roaster prepared October 2018. I say “suckling pig” because this is a small roaster pig, approximately the size at which a regular farm breed suckling pig would be around weaning. In this case, it was an older Kunekune piglet, about 4 months old. The hanging weight for this roast was 18 lbs. This is about the largest size that could comfortably be done in the oven, unless of course you halved the roaster and did one half in two pans on two oven shelves.

This roaster was brined in my usual brine recipe (Sea salt, bay leaves, fennel, star anise, juniper berries), then liberally salted and peppered and rubbed with my sweet & spicy rub (recipe here).  Skin was scored and the rub worked into the crevices.

This was slow-roasted at 200F for about 6-7 hours, approximately. The final result was a perfectly cooked, tender and falling-apart-at-the-bone oven roaster.

This roaster was enjoyed by folks at an AKPR Sanctioned picnic in October 2018.

How to Render Kunekune Lard

This post was written by Connor and originally appeared in his August 2016 4H blog.

Yesterday, my Mom and I rendered Lard for the first time using fatback from the two KuneKune boars we had processed.

Things you will need:

  1. A slow cooker
  2. 1/4 cup of water
  3. 1 piece of fatback
  4. Sharp Knife
  5. Cutting Board
  6. A piece of cheesecloth
  7. 1 Strainer
  8. A meat grinder or vegetable slicer


1. Cut the fatback up into smaller pieces to grind into shavings. (Make sure to cut off all the meat on the fatback) If you don’t have a grinder, you can cut it into shavings with a knife.

3. Add the 1/4 cup of water and the fatback into the slow cooker. Cook till the pieces of skin named cracklings in the lard are golden brown.

4. Separate the lard and the cracklings with cheesecloth and a strainer. Then pour the lard into a mason jar and let it cool off before putting it in the fridge. 

5. Fry the cracklings with the pork fat they are covered in and some salt. These are yummy toppings to put on salads and dishes.

The lard turned out to be a perfect snow white. For how much fatback we added to the crock pot I am thought there would be a lot more. At least it perfectly fit in the mason jar! We have leaf lard rendering right now it looks like it will fill two jars. I am very excited to cook and bake with lard for the first time.

Lardo di Kunekune di Corva Bella

This post was written by Connor and originally shared in 2016 to his 4H blog. We hope to make traditional Italian lardo again soon!

Today, I am going to teach you how to make Lardo and a little of its history. Lardo is cured pork fat and is an Italian delicacy. I have Italian ancestry so it is cool to learn about the food they ate.

Italians believe in using all the pig. Lardo is an easy and cheap way to make the fat into a delicious dish. Lardo was once a poor man’s food and now it is seen as a delicacy. Due to them working so hard, they needed a cheap and healthy food to get by. So they used the fatback that was seen as useless and made it into a delicious ingredient to eat with all their meals. Since they also didn’t have refrigeration having a cured food solved the issue of rotting. Pigs are one of the most common livestock in Tuscany. Historically all the rich people got the meat and the poor got all the less used parts like the fat, ears, feet, etc.

Below is a picture of the town of Colonnata and its marble quarries. The town is located in the mountains right outside Florence.

Lardo is cured in salt and countless herbs for a delicious flavor and is then left in a marble container for six months. Here is a example of a Lardo curing cellar and shop.

Lardo can be using in countless recipes to add some extra flavor. Below I have some pictures of dishes made with Lardo. I can’t wait to use it in six months.

Now let me tell you how to make delicious and easy Lardo at home.

The fat used in this recipe is from the KuneKune pigs I was raising since they were piglets. They had an amazing life. They ate pasture, produce and had ton of area to roam. I would not buy the fat for this from the supermarket as it tastes worse and it is pumped full of artificial hormones. Buy the fat from a organic, pastured heritage breed pig. Also the fat from the super market wouldn’t be from a lard pig. A lard pig is a lot more fatty and delicious than a meat pig.

Ingredients you will need:

  • Fresh Rosemary
  • Fresh Thyme
  •  Kosher or Sea Salt
  •  Fresh Sage
  • Fennel Seeds
  • Black Pepper
  • Ten Cloves Of Minced Garlic
  • One Slab Of Fatback


Step One: Add all the ingredients besides the pork into a container and mix them. Make sure to cut up all the herbs.

Step Two: Cut the skin off your fatback slowly with a very sharp knife.

Step Three: Cover the fat with the mixture from step one, then add them both to a zip-loc bag. Put the plastic bag into a black trash bag and put it in the back of your fridge to cure for six months. Every month take the Lardo out and redistribute the salt. Add more salt or herbs if needed.

In six months, I will tell you how it turned out and share some delicious recipes. Buon appetito.

What do you get back from a whole hog?

These spreads of cuts are from a single pig that had a hanging weight of 173 lbs. (Approx 250 lbs live weight)

Not shown: Head and bellies (they were curing)

Tail: 1.14 lb

Hocks: 11.32 lb

Kidney: 2.31 lb

Liver: 2.65 lb

Trotters Ears

Jowls: 2.89 lb

St Louis Ribs: 4.05 lb

Riblets: 3.44 lb

Heart: .75 lb

Ham Steaks: 11.02 lb

Sausages: 48 lb

Shoulder steaks: 11.39 lb

Sirloin chops: 5.08 lb

Back fat: 7.39

Porterhouse chops: 7.87 lb

Leaf lard: 2.28 lb

Soup bones: 7 lb

Rib chops: 8.74 lb

Skin: 16 lb

Neck bones: 3 lb

We have a lot of sausage because we chosen to use the picnic shoulder and one of the boston butts in the sausage.

This pig was not terribly fat, he was leaner. Most pigs would yield more back fat and leaf lard.

Bellies yielded about 10 lbs of bacon.

Lard Crust Peach Bourbon Crostata


Lard is the go-to ingredient for the best pie crusts ever.

All it takes is 2 cups of flour, a teaspoon of salt, 2/3 cup of chilled lard, and 6 tablespoons of water.

Slice your peaches, add to a large bowl and add bourbon, vanilla, cinnamon, a tiny bit of nutmeg and some brown sugar- to taste. Put lid on bowl and gently shake in a rolling motion, to distribute the coating.

Chill your dough for an hour, then roll out to form your crust. Pre-bake for 5 minutes.

Arrange peaches in a rosette pattern.

Add garnish and edge, crimp and baste with heavy cream, sprinkle with brown sugar.

Bake at 400F for 20 minutes.

Delicious: succulent and crispy roasted Kunekune pork belly

Last week,  15 year old Connor, who is a HUGE fan of Gordon Ramsay, found this recipe and requested that we cook it up ASAP. I sent him off to the meat freezer to find the perfect piece of pork belly for this adventure. Yesterday afternoon, we enjoyed this scrumptious dish, made even more perfect accompanied by summer squash and bread left over from last Saturday’s market.


Yes, we DO have pork belly available for purchase!


Our fennel is on the way out, so we did our best to get some of that flavor in with a small bulb and some stems. And we didn’t have cardamom, so we substituted with some black peppercorns and clove buds instead. Overall the recipe turned out wonderfully… but our skin on top was a bit too hard to chew in places, so next time we’ll play around with the cooking times and temps.


In the video Gordon mentions 180 degrees. Is this celsius or fahrenheit? I don’t know. We set our oven to bake at 356 degrees and baked our smaller piece of pork belly for 90 minutes instead of the 2.5 hours he suggests. Next time we will try 180 F, instead.


Scored, seared and ready to go into the oven, resting in a pool of our farm chicken stock and a melange of spices.


All done!