Noche Buena 2015 will be one of my favorite Christmas memories. (1) We were complete that night and (2) I roasted my very first Pork Belly or Lechon as we call it here. It took me seven hours to roast it in the oven. Read my lips. SEVEN HOURS. Crucial but worth it.
I followed this recipe I found on Youtube and while roasting it, I found out that it was a slow roast process hence it took me a long time to cook it. Good thing that my friend Sam (hi darl!) and my sister, who is a line cook in a fine dining restaurant here was able to help me as I slowly lose my sanity.
They told me that since I was roasting for roughly 5 hours then, I should raise the temperature to make the skin crispy. That was one of my concern, checking from time to time I noticed that the skin was not getting into that mahogany brownish color that I like.
So I followed their advice and voila! It worked!!! *heavenly sounds here*
Pardon the background *embarrassed* but that’s the 3 kilos of lechon belly that I roasted last Noche Buena. 🙂
Then came last week, I was so eager to tweak the recipe and cooking time to make it my own. So I asked my husband to buy a small pork belly (btw we call it liempo here) about 1 kilo so that I can make a lechon again.
And I am glad to say that it worked out great! 🙂 I am going to share it to you guys so you can have lechon whenever you want! Get ready with your pen and paper or whatever floats your boat cause here are the ingredients.
1 kilo Pork Belly (Liempo) no bones please.
5 pieces Lemon Grass
1 Medium Onion
4 cloves of Garlic cut in half
Salt and Pepper
Brine (good for 1 kilo):
2 cups of warm water
2 cups of cold water
1 cup Salt
1/4 cup Sugar
Whole Black Pepper (up to you how much you like)
BRINE – Combine 2 cups of warm water, salt, sugar and black pepper. Make sure that the salt and sugar is completely dissolved. After that pour in the remaining 2 cups cold water. Brine should always be cold; you don’t want your meat to cook in it. Then add the pork making sure it’s completely submerge. Place in the fridge overnight or minimum 7 hours. I did mine for 15 hours tee hee 🙂
After you brine your pork, RINSE IT. That’s very important. Pat dry it and on both sides.
- After which season your pork with salt, freshly ground pepper and put in the lemon grass, garlic and onion.
- Tie it tightly with cooking twine. Don’t worry if some of the stuffing falls, you can put it back once you’re done.
- Brush the skin with a bit of oil and season with a tad bit of salt and freshly ground pepper. Place it on a cooking rack MAKING SURE THE MEAT WON’T TOUCH IT’S DRIPPING! Because the skin below won’t get crispy.
- Cover with foil and roast it for 20 minutes in 300C or max on your gas mark oven.
- Then lower the heat to 180C or gas mark 4 and roast it for 3 hours.
- Remove the foil and raise the temperature to 220C or gas mark 7 and roast it for 30-45 minutes or until the skin is mahogany brown.
Do you see that!!!! No filter needed! It’s so pweeettttyyy!!! And I assure you it tastes as good as it looks. You can have this with rice (of course we’re Filipino!!) or pasta or bread or just like that.
Disclaimer: EAT MODERATELY. We all know too much of anything is bad. A friendly reminder.
Now that you know my roasted lechon, I think it’s time to make yours and share the outcome with me 🙂
If you have any questions go ahead, ask away. I’ll be glad to help you out. For the love of lechon. Lol.