Roast Pork Castilian Style ~ From a Treasury of Great Recipes by Vincent Price

A few years ago, I was quite surprised to realize that actor Vincent Price and his wife Mary wrote a cookbook!  He has actually written more than one.  As huge fans of old horror movies and cook book collectors, Eric and I just had to have it for our collection!  The suave sophisticated actor who had delighted my need for thrillers with films such as “The Pit and the Pendulum” and “The Raven” has now caught my attention in a different light.  My need for the thriller and horror story has long been sated as I have grown older. Now, Vincent Price is fulfilling new delights through the love of food and travel!  “A Treasury of Great Recipes” written in 1965, is a fascinating peek into the past, with recipes from restaurants around the world.   It is truly a treasure, both the book itself and the recipes and information within its bindings.

At my “real job” as a concierge, I assist people with travel planning, sightseeing and (my favorite), restaurant recommendations.  Several of the recipes in this book come from restaurants that are still open to this day and I have even recommended a few of them to my customers.

Eric and I have a list of recipes from this book we intend to try and share with you. Today, we are starting with the Roast Pork Castilian Style – which was adapted from the historic Sobrino de Botin in Madrid’s recipe for cochinillo asado (roast suckling pig).  Apparently Vincent and Mary Price didn’t appreciate a baby pig on their dinner plate and have used a fresh ham (any butt or shoulder cut will work) in its place.  And so have I!  This roast pork Castilian style is the most flavorful and succulent roast pork I have made in a long while.  I am absolutely thrilled with the outcome and will be making this time and time again!

Established in 1725, the Sobrino de Botin is still alive and well with 3 floors of incredible atmosphere. The basement level, is probably the most intriguing with its bricked cavernous dining space.  You can even find this restaurant in the Guinness World Records as the oldest continuously operating restaurant in the world.  It is also rumored that ‘the Botin’ was author Ernest Hemingway’s favorite place to dine.  The cochinillo asado (roast suckling pig) as well as the cordero asada (roast lamb) are the specialty of house.

Page dedicated to Sobrino de Botin, from the cookbook A Treasury of Great Recipes
1965 Menu page for Sobrino de Botin, from the recipe book A Treasury of Great Recipes.

Okay, I know I have already mentioned how awesome this roast pork came out.   But I have to stress it again.  I don’t think I’ve had a better flavored pork roast.  Eric probably won’t like to hear that, but it’s true.  The combination of minced onions, garlic and spices pressed into each slice and crevice, with wine and lemon slowly poured over top did something special to this dish that you have to experience for yourself.  Okay, so it’s not a suckling pig.  I am okay with that too.

Before the roast! Look at all the yummies tucked in the crevices.
Finished Product! It was so hard not to peel off the crisp skin before I took pictures.

Madrid, Spain is on my “bucket list” and now so is the Sobrino de Botin. ~ Enjoy


Print Recipe
Roast Pork Castilian Style
Average size fresh ham (any butt or shoulder cut will work)
Average size fresh ham (any butt or shoulder cut will work)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Score the skin and fat of your pork roast and place into a shallow roasting pan.
  3. Note from book: In Spain they use an oval earthenware one.
  4. Rub the skin with 4 tablespoons butter or shortening.
  5. In a small bowl, mix the crumbled bay leaves, minced garlic, thyme, chopped parsley and minced onion.
  6. Massage mixture over meat and into the crevices of the scored skin.
  7. Slowly pour the juice of one lemon mixed with 1/3 cup white wine over meat
  8. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons paprika and 2 teaspoons salt over meat
  9. Roast the meat for 1 1/2 hours. Remove fat that has accumulated in pan.
  10. Add to the pan: 1/3 cup white wine and 1 cup water. Continue to roast for 25 minutes per pound of roast, basting every half hour with the liquid in the pan.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from A Treasury of Great Recipes by Vincent Price

Leave a Reply