Roasted pork or Lechon is a very famous pork dish araound the world, especially in the Philippines. It is a pig flavored with herbs and spices then roasted whole. It is usually served in big occasions and is loved by most filipinos. The only downside to this dish is that it is quite expensive and hard to prepare. What we have here is a simpler version of roast pork using only the pork belly part. It is cheaper and easier to prepare and cook, yet is still very delicious and can be served to smaller groups of people. Try cooking one now!
- 1.5 kg pork belly slab, skin on
- 3 whole garlic bulbs, peeled and roughly chopped
- ½ cup oregano leaves, washed then chopped
- 3 red onions, peeled and chopped around 4 – 5 lemongrass stalks, sliced the zest from 1 lemon
- juice from 1 lemon
- a little over 1/8 cup salt, plus more for an even rub around the pork
- 4 tablespoons crushed black pepper
HOW TO COOK:
- Combine all the aromatics in a bowl and mix well.
- Lightly mash everything together with the back of a spoon.
- Alternatively, use a food processor to bring everything together with only around 2-3 pulses.With the skin side down, rub the mixture all over the meat.
- Roll the slab, carefully invert the meat and secure it with butcher’s twine.
- It’s okay if there are a few pieces of herbs that fall off, you can place it back later.
- Rub coarse salt all over the meat, including the skin.
- With a paring knife or fork, poke the skin of the meat. This will ensure a nice crackling.
- Transfer it to a roasting fitted with a rack and the bottom lined with foil.
- Place it in the refrigerator to chill overnight. This will dry the skin, which helps the crackling form.
- Preheat the oven to 160 C. Just to be sure, pat the skin of the pork dry with a paper towel. Roast the pork for 5 hours.
- Afterwards, increase the temperature to 220 C, and allow the pork’s crackling to form. This will take another 30 minutes to an hour.
- When done, remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit before slicing. Enjoy!