The Philippines is a pork-loving country. One of the most iconic Filipino dishes would have to be the lechon, a whole pig slow-roasted to perfection. But lechon is usually reserved for very special occasions because of its price and size. It’s traditionally made outdoors on a rotating spit over embers, ensuring that the meat inside stays moist and juicy while the skin crisps up.

While I’d give anything to have this set-up at home, I know it’s not something most Filipinos have! But that doesn’t mean you can’t make your own and enjoy lechon at home. My recipe makes use of pork belly, which is a reasonable size for a family or group of friends. Using similar methods to cook lechon on a smaller cut of pork means you can have lechon any time you like!

Watch my video below:

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

1 kg block/slab of pork belly

1 red onion, chopped into large chunks

8-10 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed

3 stalks of lemongrass, ends crushed

3 stalks of leeks, cut at a diagonal

2-3 pieces Red bird’s eye chili

Salt and pepper

Milk

Instructions:

Stuff the pork belly with the onion, garlic, lemongrass, leeks, and chili. Make sure to spread out the ingredients to infuse flavor into the whole slab. Roll the slab forming a tight cylinder. Secure the roll with kitchen twine. Snip off the excess lemongrass and leeks that may be sticking out from the sides of the roll. Place the pork belly onto a raised roasting rack to make sure all sides get crispy. Baste the pork belly with canola oil using a brush or the leaves of the lemongrass. Bake in the oven for 2 hours at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the oven after 2 hours and baste the pork belly with milk. Return to the oven to roast for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool for a bit before slicing and serving.

Erwan Heussaff
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