Whoa! How long has it been since my last post? So many things have happened since our move back to Manila from Singapore that this blog has taken a backseat. Nevertheless, the passion for cooking (and consequently, eating) has never waned. Although I cannot guarantee that I will be regularly infusing this blog with new entries on a regular basis, still I am making this comeback with a vengeance by introducing this deadly dish- the Lechon Kawali.
Aside from a death-wish, you will need:
• a kilo (2.2lbs) of pork belly (or liempo). In this case I bought 750 grams worth of young hog so the skin will come out crispier.
• lots of garlic, chopped
• peppercorns, maybe a spoonful
• 2 bay leaves
• lots of salt
• water for boiling
First, boil the meat for a minute or two just to clean it. Get rid of that dirty water and boil water again. Just enough to cover the meat. Add in the garlic cloves, onions, peppercorns, bay leaves, and maybe a spoonful of salt. Boil for 40 minutes. If using a pressure cooker, boil for 25 minutes.
Get rid of the water and everything else except the meat. Set the pork on a wire rack to let excess water drip and to air it. You may also keep it in the ref to be baked another time. In my case I fired up the oven after an hour of the meat sitting.
Set the oven to 180°C and pop in the meat after 15 minutes with the skin up. I placed the meat on a wire rack, and that wire rack on a baking pan to catch the oil drippings. I collected a cupful of oil so make sure your baking pan is deep enough.
Now, ovens may vary. I had to check on the meat every so often to make sure that it’s being broiled properly. Keep in mind that the meat is already cooked, so you can just work on getting the skin crispy. I spent about 30 minutes having it broiled, then to make the skin crispy I set the oven to fan (it’s the setting with the “fan” icon) and gave it 20 minutes more. That is how this beautiful piece of meat came about. No frying involved nor cringing from hot oil spattering.
Serve with bottled lechon sauce found in Filipino groceries or plain old vinegar with crushed garlic will also do. Don’t forget your cupfuls of rice.