Suckling Pig Stuffed with Chile Cornbread, Roasted Chestnuts, Buttermilk, and Crown Pumpkin
For the Corn Bread:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place a 14-inch cast iron skillet over high heat and melt butter. Add onions and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme and stir occasionally, allowing onions and garlic to caramelize.
In a large bowl, mix corn meal, grits, eggs, and self-rising flour. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of thyme and pour in buttermilk. The batter should be thick but pourable, like wet concrete. Add onions, garlic, and butter from skillet with 1 to 2 tablespoons of hot sauce and sugar. Pour batter back into hot skillet and bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden. Cool completely.
For the Crown Pumpkins:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Quarter the pumpkin and remove seeds. Coat with olive oil and roast, covered with foil, for 30 minutes, or until soft. Cool.
For the Suckling Pig:
Starting at the sternum with the pig on its back, separate meat from the ribs, reserving bones. Work down to the loins and release spine from the back skin. Separate pelvis from the femur bones and remove the rib cage. Cut skin against the bone on all legs and remove feet and head with a bone saw. Work remaining bones out of the extremities. The meat at the shoulder and ham section will be thicker than the middle, so remove some of the meat and redistribute it to the central portions. The pig should be a neat rectangle of skin on meat. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
To Assemble and Serve:
Break up the Corn Bread and scoop flesh of Crown Pumpkin from skin. While stuffing the Suckling Pig, use the skin and pig bones to make a stock.
Preheat oven to 200°F. Lay Suckling Pig flat and build a mosaic of Corn Bread, Crown Pumpkins, roasted chestnuts, and sage leaves. Roll and tie pig into a cylinder with butchers twine and then roll in cheesecloth. Secure ends with more twine.
Place the pig mummy into a large roasting dish and cover with the stock. Then cover the pan with foil. Place in the oven for eight hours or until you reach an internal temperature of 180°F. Remove the pan from oven, take off the foil, and cool the pig in the liquid until firm and cold. Remove the cheesecloth and the twine.
Slice the Suckling Pig into ¾-inch slices and grill to crisp the skin and warm through. Serve with mesclun salad and some of the braising liquid.