A staple at any Christmas dinner or Noche Buena is ham. When paired with toasty pieces of pandesal, a Christmas ham is perfect for either a light snack or as part of a hearty meal. It’s also so festive and celebratory, that every Filipino home should have some sort of ham on their table this Christmas season.

But hams can be expensive, hard to find, or difficult to cook. If you left out your Christmas cooking for last, you may be hard-pressed to find a ham on short notice. But if one thing’s for sure, you’ll never run out of pork belly. This cut of meat is readily available and isn’t too expensive. This Filipino Christmas recipe is perfect for those on a budget, and looking to get creative this year.

One place that will never run out of anything you need for cooking over the holidays is Landers Superstore. Check out one of their 4 branches across Metro Manila:

Landers ArcoVia

Landers Alabang West

Landers Balintawak

Landers Otis

This roast pork belly is similar to a ham in taste, but it certainly retains more moisture than a traditional ham. That’s because a pork belly has more fat than a ham. Use this to your advantage! I pair this roast pork belly with a sweet, pineapple sauce to add more of that festive flavour. Try this out at home and let me know: can this replace your traditional holiday ham?

RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 1 Whole Pork Belly, Bone-In (about 3kgs)
  • salt
  • For the SAUCE
    • 1 whole pineapple or 1 large can of chopped pineapple
    • 1/2 cup of water to blend
    • 1 cup of brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
    • 1/3 cup soy sauce

Instructions:

  1. The night before, score the skin of the pork belly slab. Sprinkle with generous amounts of salt on both sides. Leave uncovered in the fridge overnight.
  2. Preheat your oven to 500 Fº or the highest temperature possible.
  3. Place pork belly onto a baking rack. Roast the pork belly in the oven at 300 Fº for 3 hours.
  4. Start on the pineapple glaze. Peel and slice the pineapple. Using a handheld immersion blender, food processor, or blender, bring the pineapple to a smooth juice with water. If you’re not using fresh pineapple, canned is fine. You can use the juice in the can to liquefy it and make it sweeter.
  5. Put the blended pineapple juice into a pot. Bring to a boil.
  6. Add rice vinegar, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and allow to thicken.
  7. Strain the sauce to reach desired consistency. If you prefer a smooth glaze, strain the sauce completely to remove all fibres and chunks.
  8. Add more brown sugar if needed, to make the glaze thicker.
  9. Remove from the pot and allow to cool. Set aside.
  10. After 3 hours, up the heat of your oven to 500 Fº and roast the pork for 30 minutes.
  11. Once done, remove the pork belly from the oven. Allow to cool for several minutes.
  12. Slice and pour the glaze over it. Serve and enjoy!

Want to see the full video where I get some “special” guests to try this out? Check it out below!

Erwan Heussaff
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