Lechon Belly (Ala Lechon Cebu) Recipe

Lechon Belly (Ala Lechon Cebu) Recipe
Lechon Belly (Ala Lechon Cebu) Recipe
Lechon Belly (Ala Lechon Cebu) Recipe

Lechon is a roasted whole pig slowly cooked over charcoal heat. The crispiness of its skin is one of the best features of roasted pig but the flavor and aroma is distinctive for every region or country. Lechon Cebu is known for their spices and herbs particularly the combination of lemon grass, leeks, salt, pepper, and garlic as stuffing inside the pig’s belly. Flavor is develop during cooking.
In your kitchen it is not practical to cook the whole pig but we can get portion of it and cook with your ordinary oven or turbo broiler. The good part of the pig is its belly. But instead of just stuffing the pork with spices and herbs, we will also marinate it with the basic ingredients of Lechon Cebu before roasting.

Ingredients:
2 kilograms of Pork belly slab
For the brine/marinade:
1 stalk of lemon grass (tanglad)
1 stalk on onion leeks (scallion)
2 pieces of laurel (bay leaves)
1 table spoon of ground black peppercorn
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup rock salt
5 cups of water
For the fillings:
1 stalk of lemon grass (tanglad)
1 stalk on onion leeks (scallion)
2 cloves garlic, crushed

For the glaze:
3 part of evaporated milk + 1 part of water
Lechon Belly (Ala Lechon Cebu) Recipe
Recipe Cooking Procedure:
*Wash the pork slab with running water and make sure that hairs on the skin are shaved.
In a pot, put 5 cups of water then add lemon grass, bay leaves, onion, black peppercorn, garlic, and salt.
Make the brine/marinade: Bring water to boil then lower heat and simmer for at least 10 minutes.
This will allow the herbs and spices to release its flavor and aroma.
*Turn off heat. Set aside brine solution until it cools.
Pour the brine on the pork slab and marinate overnight
*After marinating, remove the pork from the brine. The surface of the pork is quite salty so we have to rinse with fresh water then pat dry with towel.
*Lay the pork slab on flat surface and place the rolled lemon grass, leek, and garlic.
*Now roll up the pork slab, form a roulade with the garlic, leeks, and lemon grass on the center. Tie pork with twine (string) to keep its roulade in shape.
*Brush the surface with mixture of milk and water. Set aside for at least half to an hour to allow milk to set in the skin. Milk makes the skin color reddish brown when roasted.
*Cook Lechon Using Turbo Broiler
Set and preheat your turbo broiler at 375 deg F (190 deg C). Maintain this temperature up to end of cooking.
Put the pork roulade on the turbo broiler but cover with aluminum foil.
Note: I put aluminum foil to cover the meat temporarily for the first 2 hours of cooking to keep the belly moist inside and to shield from direct hot air from the broiler fan otherwise the outer part of the pork will be cooked quickly yet the inner part is still half cooked.
*After 2 hours remove the aluminum foil cover. Continue cooking but rotate the roulade, at least every 10 minutes to evenly cook the skin.
Check if the skin is already crackling crispy then it is done.
*Cook Lechon Using an Oven
Set and preheat your oven at 375 deg F (190 deg C). Maintain this temperature up to end of cooking.
Place your pork roulade over a grill pan with wire mesh. Cover with aluminum foil.
Note: Cover the belly for the first 2 hours of cooking to keep the belly moist inside and to shield from direct heat from the oven otherwise the outer part of the pork will be cooked quickly yet the inner part is still half cooked.
Place pork belly inside the oven. Remove the aluminum wrap after 2 hours. Rotate the pork once in a while to cook the skin evenly.
*Check if the skin is already crackling crispy then it is done.

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