Author Name: admin Posted: 03/06/2018 05:59:00 AM
If you have never seen a Lechon being roasted, you are missing a big part of the Filipino culture. The word “Lechon” (Litson) is Spanish which means “suckling pig”. But to a Filipino, it has become a word that means “roasted pig” (Lechon Baboy). I can still remember how carefully they stuff garlic, onions, soy sauce, lemongrass, salt, herbs and vegetables inside the pig and slowly roast it by just hand-turning it over hot coals for several hours. The result is – crispy reddish brown skin and very tender juicy meat.
I’m sure many of us still remember those fiestas, birthday parties, holiday celebrations, weddings and other family gatherings where the Lechon is the star and center piece of the table spread. Isn’t it so true that without it, these occasions are incomplete!
Though it is a common dish all over the country, the ones from Cebu City are the best tasting versions and have become a popular Cebu signature dish wherein lechons are being air-shipped to other food establishments throughout the whole Philippines.
As enticing as this may sound, lechon is rare in America. So why not make your own lechon? I have done it myself. As long as you have an oven, a simple version is possible. Instead of a whole pig, ask a butcher in the market to debone a whole pork belly. Lay the belly flat – inside up. Dry rub it with oregano, salt, onions and garlic. Place lemongrass in the middle and roll the meat into a cylinder like shape tying it together. Let it marinate overnight. Roast it in the oven at 350 degrees F. Duration of roasting depends on the size of pork (usually 2-4 hours). Increase the heat to about 400 degrees in the last few minutes. Keep an eye as you go. Do not overcook as there is a tendency for skin to burn.