Filipino style Lechon is traditionally a whole suckling pig roasted on a spit for hours over hot coals, resulting in a crispy, shiny glazed crackling with juicy meat underneath.
This version is roasted in the oven and uses pork belly instead of an entire pig. The outcome is crispy crackling and succulent meat that can be achieved in less than half the time of the traditional method. Served with candied sweet potato, snake beans and a too-easy pork gravy.
1 kg pork belly
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp garlic, minced
2 tbsp Olsson’s sea salt
1/2 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
For the sweet potato:
4 cups of water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2.5cm thick rounds
300 g snake beans, blanched for 1-2 minutes and drained
2-3 tbsp flour
11/2 cups stock
1 Preheat over to 240C.
2 In a small bowl, whisk together oil, garlic, salt, vinegar, and pepper.
3 Place pork belly on a clean work surface. Using a sharp knife, score the pork skin in a 1cm cross-hatch pattern, rub the skin and under flesh with the garlic and vinegar mixture.
4 Place the pork belly in a roasting tray skin side up and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 190C and cook for another 20 minutes, or until cooked through and skin is crisp. Remove from oven, and transfer pork to a clean chopping board to rest for 10 minutes.
5 For the gravy, place the roasting pan with remaining drippings over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes, scraping browned bits from the pan. Add stock to the pan and cook, stirring until smooth and thickened. Strain and transfer to serving jug.
6 While the pork is roasting prepare the sweet potatoes. Place water, sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce heat and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
7 Add the sweet potatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover with a lid and simmer for 40-45 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
8 Remove the potatoes from the saucepan using a slotted spoon and place on a plate to one side.
9 Increase the heat and bring the remaining syrup back up to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes, until thickened and reduced slightly.
10 Before serving, toss the potatoes in a little of the syrup until just coated.
11 To serve, slice the pork and arrange on plates with sweet potatoes and beans. Serve with warm gravy.
The Carousel thanks tucker for this recipe.