Monday, February 16, 2009

Easy Roast Pork ala Beancounter

Picture Dr Evil and Mini-me, only cuter, with better fashion sense and a lot more hair. *LOL* That's a bit much! But that's a little bit how it's like when I’m looking after Tikay (Eliyah). I'm frantically cooking in the kitchen with a tiny person dangling in front of me.

So, coming up with easy to prepare meals is not just pertinent, it's a matter of life and death...again too much drama! *LOL*

The love for Lechon (Filipino Roast Pork) is culturally embedded in my genes. But I haven't got time to source a pig, slaughter it and spit roast it for half a day. Fortunately, there are less bloody versions of this much-loved dish. Apart from the traditional spit roast there is the Lechon Kawali (Deep Fried) and the Lechon sa Hurno (Oven Roast) varieties, the latter being the least complex but very tasty nonetheless.

The secret to my Easy (oven) Roast Pork is the cut of meat. Low fat advocates look away now...The best and the only cut I use when roasting this way is a fatty pork belly. Ok, ok! It does not have to be really fatty. That is just to annoy "low fat" people. But a good layering of fat is vital. This would almost always guarantee a roast that is not dry. Pork Belly is quite forgiving in that an extra hour in the oven (due to the onset of dementia) would still result in an edible roast albeit crispy and a wee bit charred!

My recipe is easy but by no means quick. There isn’t a lot of fussing around with ingredients, in fact there are only three, but it involves a few hours of cooking.

The recipe is actually quite basic but that's the beauty of it. Once you feel confident you should be able to embellish without fear. You can add garlic and rosemary sprigs for example.

Also, this roast pork works really well served the traditional Pinoy way with a sweet and tangy lechon sauce eaten with rice. Or you can opt for a more western style of serving with gravy (made from the drippings), roast potatoes and steamed vegetables.

Easy Roast Pork ala Beancounter

1 piece of pork belly
Sea salt

1. Pre-heat the oven to about 200C.
2. Rub the pork belly with salt and pepper.
3. Put about a cup of water in your roasting tray. Place the meat (skin side up) on a rack on top of the roasting tray making sure the meat is not touching the water. Put it in the oven.
4. After about 30 minutes reduce the heat to about 150C. Cook for another 2-3 hours depending on the size of the meat. This is when the fat becomes really important. The melting pork fat will keep the meat moist. Check it after 2 hours and see how the crackling is forming. If it is done to your liking take it out of the oven at this point.
5. Let the meat rest for a few minutes before serving.


Rowena said...

Like you, lechon is also embedded in my genes. There is no way around it. And fat? BRING IT! Salt and pork fat are also embedded in my dna. The trick is to eat it in modesty. (easier said than done!) :lol:

The Beancounter said...

Hello there Rowena!

Hahahaha... a lady after my own heart...

Tangled Noodle said...

[Salivating] The only time we even have a remote chance at eating real Filipino lechon is when we visit family in California. Otherwise, here in Minnesota, I have to settle for roast pork or roast pig at a Chinese market. Not quite the same.

This recipe is awesome! Lechon paksiw, here I come!!

The Beancounter said...

Unless we make it ourserselves there's no way for me to get authentic lechon in Brisbane...

Rub the belly with a bit of five spice if you like a more oriental flavour...

Gay said...

Why roast when I can easily get lechon here in Gen San? Hehehe... Pork belly in any cooking is simply delicious!

The Beancounter said...

Gay - You have no idea how jealous I am! No such thing where i live...

Nate-n-Annie said...

Nice! I've always wanted to make roast belly pork in the oven.

Do you have a recipe for the Lechon sauce, or can I just use a bottled sauce?

Thanks for adding us as friends on Foodbuzz. We welcome you to come visit our site!

The Beancounter said...

Bottled sauce is perfectly fine...

i'm in the office at the moment...

i'll get you my lechon sauce recipe when i get home tonight...

thanks for dropping by Nate-n-Annie!

jesse said...

I can't believe how simple the recipe is and how BEAUTIFUL the results are. Mmm!

The Beancounter said...

Hello there Jess...

You should definitely try it... Thanks for dropping by!

The Beancounter said...

Sorry for the delay in my response Nate-n-Annie.

Here’s my Lechon Sauce (liver sauce) recipe:

250g chicken livers or 1 cup of liver pate
60ml apple cider vinegar
½ cup breadcrumbs
3 tbsp minced garlic
1 cup finely chopped onion
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 cup water

1. Grill the liver until but do not cook it thoroughly.
2. Press the liver through a sieve.
3. Combine this (or the pate, whichever you decide to use with the other ingredients in a pan and simmer for half an hour.
4. Use this sauce for lechon or other roast meats.