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Lechon Recipe

Lechon Recipe

Lechon is a famous dish from the Philippines, known for its savory and crispy roasted pig. Preparing Lechon is a bit of a process, but the result is a festive and delicious centerpiece for any celebration. Here's a simplified recipe for a smaller scale version, often called "Lechon Belly":

Ingredients:

For the Pork:

  1. Pork Belly: 1 whole piece, skin on (about 3-5 pounds).
  2. Salt: To taste.
  3. Pepper: To taste.

For the Stuffing:

  1. Lemongrass: 2 stalks, pounded and chopped.
  2. Garlic: 1 head, cloves peeled and crushed.
  3. Onions: 2, chopped.
  4. Green Onions: 4-5 stalks.
  5. Bay Leaves: 4-5.
  6. Salt: 1 tablespoon.
  7. Pepper: 1 teaspoon.

For Basting:

  1. Oil: Preferably vegetable or canola oil.
  2. Soy Sauce: Optional, for added color and flavor.

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Pork Belly:

    • Lay the pork belly skin side down on a flat surface. Season the meat side with salt and pepper.
    • Preheat your oven to 355°F (180°C) or prepare a rotisserie set-up if you have one.
  2. Stuff the Pork Belly:

    • Mix the lemongrass, garlic, onions, green onions, bay leaves, salt, and pepper together. Stuff this mixture into the pork belly.
    • Roll the pork belly tightly and tie it up with kitchen twine to secure.
  3. Score the Skin:

    • With a sharp knife, make shallow diagonal cuts on the skin. This helps the skin to crisp up evenly.
  4. Roast the Pork:

    • Place the pork belly in a roasting pan. Roast in the preheated oven. The cooking time will depend on the size of the pork belly, but generally, it takes about 2-3 hours.
    • Baste the pork occasionally with oil (and soy sauce if using). This will help in crisping the skin.
  5. Check for Doneness:

    • The pork is done when the skin is very crispy and the meat is tender. An internal temperature should read around 160°F (71°C).
  6. Rest and Serve:

    • Let the Lechon rest for about 10-15 minutes before carving.
    • Serve with liver sauce or a vinegar garlic dip.

Tips:

  • The key to a good Lechon is the crispiness of the skin. The higher the heat towards the end of cooking, the crispier the skin will be.
  • Be careful not to overcook the pork; it should be moist inside.
  • Adjust the stuffing ingredients according to your preference.

Enjoy your homemade Lechon Belly, a taste of Filipino celebration!

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