Pork Belly Lechon ala Sarah

Whew! It’s been months since I last posted but hey, this blog’s not dead hehe. Today’s the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year so, Gong Xi Fa Cai! I think it would be a perfect day to start back into writing. I’ve been so busy trying to keep up with my new year’s resolution that I think I can’t do it anymore thus I need to distract myself.

First in the agenda – I shall be sharing with you my recipe for – Pork Belly lechon! And by “my recipe” means I found it on the internet here and here. I’ve cooked pork belly before and that was a partial failure so based on that, I kind of assessed what works for the kind of cook that I am. My issue with the kusinamaster recipe is that I feel it would burn the skin and not cook the meat whereas for the panlasang pinoy recipe, the find the recipe for the marinade/brine too much. So I picked the best parts of both, combined and successfully got my own version of the lechon. Below is the recipe:

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PORK BELLY LECHON RECIPE:

Pork Belly slab – I used around 1.6Kg

Brine Ingredients:

1 stalk of lemongrass

1 stalk onion leeks

2 pieces of laurel (bay leaves)

1 Tbsp of ground black peppercorn

5 cloves garlic crushed

1/2 cup kosher salt (the original recipe calls for rock salt but since I have a lot of kosher salt in my cupboard and I read somewhere before that it is a good salt for brining, so I used kosher salt instead)

5 cups of water

Filling Ingredients:

1 stalk of lemongrass

1 stalk onion leeks

2 cloves of garlic

Glaze (this gives the belly skin its gold color)

3 parts evaporated milk + 1 part water (For my recipe I used 3 Tbsp of evaporated milk + 1 Tbsp of water)

Procedure:

  1. In a casserole, put the lemongrass, onion leeks, bay leaves, peppercorn, garlic, salt and water.
  2. Bring the above mixture to boil, then simmer for atleast 10 minutes to release the flavours and aroma.
  3. Turn off the heat and leave this to cool.
  4. Wash the pork slab with running water and make sure the hairs have been removed. Dry it with paper towel and put in a container enough to hold the meat along with the brining solution.
  5. Using a sharp pointy knife, poke small holes on the skin of the meat (you know, like stabbing it) then pour the brining solution, put in the fridge and leave it overnight.
  6. After marinating, wash the pork to remove the saltiness then dry again with paper towel.
  7. Lay the pork slab on a flat surface (skin side down) then place the filling of lemon grass, onion leeks and garlic. Pound the lemongrass and garlic a bit to make sure its flavours are released.
  8. Roll the pork slab to form a roulade with the filling in the center and tie it using butcher’s twine.
  9. Brush the mixture with the milk and water mix then leave it for atleast an hour.
  10. Prepare oven and set it to 160 degrees Celsius. Cover the pork with foil to prevent it from burning then cook in the oven for 4 hours.
  11. Raise the oven temperature to 220 degrees Celsius and remove the foil – this is the part where you make the skin crispy. Turn the pork to cook evenly and once the skin is crackling crispy, the lechon is done. (It took me around 1 hr 15 minutes to get the surface I want and it sure was crispy!)

 

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Once you’ve done this, please leave a comment if your cooking was a success! 🙂

 

 

 

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