STREAMING NOW: Nigella: At My Table

German Roast Pig (Spannferkel)

Want more from Genius Kitchen?

Watch on your Apple TV, Roku, or Fire TV and your iOS, Fire, or Android device.

Learn More
“A traditional German recipe from the region of Hessen.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Eviserate, clean, wash and pat the pig dry. Rub inside of pig with salt, marjoram and caraway seeds.
  2. Stuff the cavity with crumpled aluminum foil to prevent the meat sinking. Place the front legs forward with the feet under the head, position the rear legs and tie with string.
  3. Rub the outside with the seasonings. Cover ears and tail with foil to prevent burning. Prop the mouth open with a stck or raw potato so that you can stuff it with apple later.
  4. Pierce the skin all over with a fork so that the fat will drain off.
  5. Lay pig on a rack in an open roasting pan; pour in enough water to cover the bottom of the pan.
  6. To keep pig well greased as it cooks, either brush it with butter or bacon fat every 15 min or lay strips of bacon across its back, replacing them with more as they become crisp. Add more water as needed and pierce the skin with a fork at each basting.
  7. Sear the piglet in a hot oven, then roast in a moderate oven as follows:
  8. preheat oven to 450, put piglet in oven for 20 min and then reduce heat to 350.
  9. The meat should be white with no pink juices but not dried out.
  10. To serve, cut trussing from the legs and place the pig on a large platter.
  11. Remove the wood block or potato and insert an apple or an unpeeled lemon. You can further garnish by cutting a circle around the neck and covering it with a wreath of leaves or [at Christmas]holly.

Watch more

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a