I attended Chef Michael Giovan Sarthou III or Chef Tatung ‘s (as he is fondly called) demo class in The Maya Kitchen in Makati specifically for his Recipe for Lechon Belly and it did not disappoint.
Chef Tatung is an advocate of Filipino food and indigenous cooking methods and has several restaurants a a few cookbook on his sleeves. We had great fun with his Pinoy Classics recipes and his happy chika in the kitchen including tips on how not to cry when cutting your onions.
He showed us how to make several of his recipes such as Ukoy, Pancit Pusit, Pancit Molo, Stuffed Rolled Lechon Belly, and Cassava Cake Special.
The Stuffed Rolled Lechon Belly is my favorite and this is the recipe I will be sharing today. His recipe is very reminiscent of the Cebu Lechon which I love so much. (There was a time I dragged my husband all over Metro Manila in search for that elusive Cebu Lechon). Not surprising since he actually grew up in Cebu !
Here is his recipe for lechon belly:
Chef Tatungs Recipe for Lechon Belly
3 kilos whole pork belly, deboned, preferably a wide slab that can be rolled.
annatto oil for brushing
2 cups pineapple juice
3 tablespoons sea salt
6 cloves garlic crushed
2 cloves garlic sliced
2 cups onion leeks, white and green parts, sliced
- Marinate pork belly in pineapple, salt and garlic for at least 3 hours or overnight. You may want to poke holes in the inside of the pork belly to allow marinade to seep into the meat.
- To roll pork belly, first discard marinating liquid. Lay the pork on a board, skin-side down. Rub with salt and pepper. Then arrange garlic and leeks on top of the pork. Neatly roll the meat along the grain of the pork until the ends meet. Tie the joint
tightly with butcher’s string at regular intervals to hold the roll together.
- Preheat the oven to 250°C/475°F, or as high as it will go.
- Place rolled belly on an oiled roasting tray. Roast for 30 minutes to brown and crisp the skin. Then bring down oven temperature to 177°C/350°F and roast for another 2 hours. Brush with annatto oil (see notes here) every now and then.
- When pork is cooked, carve into slices. Serve with vinegar on the side. salt and pepper, to taste