Lechon Pork Belly

Lechon is the quintessential Filipino dish that by far, tops any list when it comes to anything related to Filipino cooking. Lechon is a whole roasted pig that is cooked slowly over hot charcoals, creating a salty and crispy skin on the outside, as well as soft, succulent and spicy meat on the inside.

Ingredients

  • 1 slab of pork belly, without the bones (4 pounds/ 2kg)
  • 2 stalks of lemon grass sliced
  • 4 stalks of onion leeks sliced
  • 6 pieces of garlic crushed
  • 1 piece onion sliced
  • 6 tablespoons of coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 10 peppercorns crushed

Method

To Brine

  1. Combine water, as well as half the lemon grass, leeks, garlic, and peppercorn. Also add the salt and pepper.
  2. Mix these ingredients thoroughly and let the mixture boil to help the spices release its aroma and flavor.
  3. Let the mixture cool. Soak the slab of pork belly, without the hair on the skin and the bones, in the brine overnight.

The Roasting

  1. After soaking overnight, let the pork dry. Put it on a flat surface and add a few light sprinkles of salt and pepper on the meat and skin. You can either opt to put the onions and the remainder of the lemon grass, leeks and garlic on top of the meat side of the belly, or you can make an incision at the middle and create a pocket for the spices.
  2. Roll the slab carefully with the skin on the outside. Securely tie up the entire roll of pork.
  3. When using charcoals, make sure that you can easily turn the pork around slowly, you should also use low-medium heat to help the meat cook properly. You can increase the heat later on to caramelize and crisp the skin.
  4. When using a rotisserie, an oven, or a turbo broiler, cover the meat with foil for a more thorough and even cooking.
  5. You can open the foil and increase the heat as soon as the meat inside is cooked and tender.
  6. The lechon belly’s skin is its crowning glory, it needs to be brown, crispy and salty
  7. Brush the skin with cooking oil and put in on hot charcoals or high heat in order to make it look and taste good.

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