Yum! The thought of lechon can already make one go hungry. Try this easy roasted pork belly recipe using your oven and indulge yourself to its rich flavour!
Lechon is a roasted whole pig slowly cooked or grilled over charcoal heat. That crispy skin makes lechon one of the most craved for dishes. In every region or country, the flavour and aroma for this roasted pig do differ. The flavour is developed during cooking from those spices and herbs and other ingredients stuffed inside the pig’s belly.
Having lechon or cooking in your kitchen is not that practical. So here is an alternative to enjoy your favorite lechon without the need of setting up those skewers and charcoals outside. Pork belly, a part of the pig, is more convenient than the whole suckling, right? Besides, you can easily find it in the supermarket. Hence, it is used in such recipe called roasted/lechon pork belly.
The preparation matters in this recipe, so please be careful in following the instructions. From scrubbing the marinade to putting the belly in the refrigerator, they will seriously affect your pig’s flavour. Enjoy this recipe!
- 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 ⅛ cup salt, plus more for an even rub around the pork
- 4 tablespoons crushed black pepper
- 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!