Boneless lechon belly recipe
If it’s a Pinoy party, the lechon (whole roasted pig) is always the star or the centerpiece. But in recent years, we have seen the rise in the popularity of the boneless lechon belly. And for good reason.
The boneless lechon belly has so many advantages.
- It is just the right size. If you have a small family, you don’t need to order a whole pig, just the belly roll and you still get the pork lechon goodness that we love. Plus, it looks good in the middle of the table.
- No bones. As the name suggests, it’s boneless so you get to eat everything (except the stuffing).
- It comes in two flavors — the original and the spicy.
- It is cheaper, too, than buying a whole lechon.
Make it At Home
But do you know that it’s actually easy to make boneless lechon belly at home? Since it is not a whole pig, you can easily make it in the convenience of your own kitchen using even just your small oven. Plus, the ingredients are just simple. It’s just time consuming, though, so you got to allot four hours of cooking time before your meal. So again, easy but it takes time.
Boneless Lechon Belly
Boneless lechon belly ingredients
- 1 kilo whole pork belly
- 1 Tbsp. rock salt
- 1 Tbsp. anise palay (anise seeds)
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- 4 lemongrass leaves
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- Milk for brushing (I used fresh milk)
Boneless Lechon belly procedure
- 1. Wash the pork with water and pat dry with a paper towel.
- 2. With a sharp ice pick, punch holes on the skin. The skin can be pretty tough so you have to apply force. This will allow the skin to “pop” and give it the chicharon feels when cooked.
- 3. Rub the rock salt on the skin and on the meat part. You may add a bit of salt than what I suggested but since we control our salt intake, 1 Tbsp is enough for 1 kilo.
- 4. Mix the anise palay and black pepper. Rub it well on the inside of the pork. Roll it over and set aside. Let the pork sit for at least 30 minutes so the flavors and aroma of the spices will be absorbed.
- 5. Heat the oven to 180°C.
- 6. Open up the pork again and arrange the folded lemongrass leaves, onion slices, and garlic cloves on the meat part.
- 7. Roll the pork again and tie securely with a string. Make sure that you tie it very tightly because cooking the pork will shrink its size and make it loose in the tie. You may need an assistant to do this so that somebody is holding the pork steady while you are tying it.
- 8. Wrap the pork in foil, close the sides, and pop the whole thing into the preheated oven. Bake for 2 whole hours.
- 9. Remove the pork from the oven and brush it all around with milk. Return to the oven, uncovered, and bake for another 30-45 minutes, depending on how brown the skin is on all sides. You really have to check.
If you have a rotisserie oven, the pork will be baked evenly and you get crispy skin all around.However, with the rotisserie, you may need to increase the temperature a little and cook it longer.
In my case, i just turned the pork several times, baking about 15 minutes per side to achieve the crispy skin. I would look into the oven to see if it the skin is already popping on one side before I turn it again.
In Bacolod, you may order boneless lechon belly from Zharns Grill.
Your family will truly enjoy the boneless lechon belly. The meat becomes so tender and flavorful in the inside. And very juicy, too. But the skin is crisp as well as tastes good. Prepare this for Noche Buena or even your Sunday lunches with the whole family. Just start early so that you can eat on time, as it takes too much time to cook.
Just a tip, you may want to serve it with some Mang Tomas lechon sauce. That’s what we did and it perfectly complemented the boneless lechon belly. But even if you don’t have sauce, the meat is already flavorful and aromatic. You might also want the spicy vinegar with soy sauce and chopped garlic dipping sauce, too. Cheers! 😀