This section is from the book "Philadelphia Cook Book: A Manual Of Home Economies", by Sarah Tyson Heston Rorer. Also available from Amazon: Philadelphia Cook Book.
Pork is divided into leg, loin, chine, shoulder, spare-rib, middlings, head and feet. The best parts for roasting are the loin and leg.
Pork in every form is unwholesome and indigestible, and should never be eaten by persons with weak digestion or by children, and should not be used by any one except in very cold weather. It should always be thoroughly cooked.
To select: The lean must be fine-grained, and of a pale red color; the fat white, and the skin smooth and clear. If the flesh is soft, the fat a yellowish-white, and full of small kernels, reject it, as this is an indication of disease.
The pig should be four weeks old, and should be roasted the day after it is killed. In cities, pigs are usually sent from the butcher's prepared for the oven; but if it should be your lot to receive one in its crude state, we will give these few directions to follow. Wash the pig well in cold water, and let it remain in the water ten minutes. Have ready a large pan of boiling water, plunge it in, hold it by the nose and shake it vigorously about, until you can pull the hairs out easily. Take it out, rub it with a very coarse crash towel, rubbing from the tail to the head; then make a small opening in the belly, take out the entrails, and wash it thoroughly in cold water. Wipe it dry. Make a filling as follows: -
1 cup of stale bread crumbs
1 heaping tablespoonful of chopped suet
1 tablespoonful of chopped parsley
Mix all the ingredients well together.
Remove the hoofs at the first joint, leaving the skin long enough to pull over the bone. If you are not ready to bake at once give it a cold pack, - i. e., roll it in a wet towel - and put it one side until wanted. When ready, put the stuffing in, sew the opening together, truss the fore legs forward, and the hind feet also forward, under and close to the body. Now wipe the pig carefully with a clean, soft, dry cloth, and place a stone or cob in the mouth to keep it open. Rub it with melted butter; dredge very lightly with flour, salt and pepper. Roast before a moderate fire, as it must be thoroughly done, or, if baked, the oven must be moderately hot. Baste it with a little salted hot water at first, and then with melted butter until there is sufficient dripping in the pan. Roast from two hours to two and a half. When the pig is about half done, brush it all over lightly with melted butter or pure olive oil. When done, place it on a dish with parsley all around; remove the stone or cob from the mouth, and put in its place a small red apple. Serve as hot as possible with apple sauce.
Brown the pan in which the pig was roasted, add to it two tablespoonfuls of flour, and brown again; add one pint of boiling water, let it boil up once, add salt and pepper to taste, take from the fire, add four tablespoonfuls of sherry, and serve in a boat.
Cut off its head, separate it down the back in halves, remove the hams and shoulders, and separate the ribs. Sucking pig may also be stuffed with potato stuffing.