Letchon Baboy - BBQ Roasted Pork in the Philippines
Letchon Baboy - Roasted BBQ Pork in the Philippines
Roasting an Entire Pig Filipino Style
There is certainly something special about a whole roasted pig on a bamboo pole as the main course to a feast to enjoy with family and friends. Lecthon Baboy is the main course of most large Filipino gatherings and are a great treat. If you are traveling in the Philippines you have to experience a good roasted pork dinner at least once. As a westerner it is not every day that I wake up to the squeal of a pig at 4AM in the morning, reminding me that there is going to be a feast today.
After the pig is slaughtered and all of the organs are removed and set aside for side dishes, yes there is a special Filipino appetizer made from the intestines of the pig. The pig begins to be prepped for cooking. The pig will be packed with spices and herbs to provide a rich flavor throughout the meat. Generally the pig is stuffed with items such as garlic, lemon grass, crushed black peppercorns, salt, soy sauce, vinegar, thyme, green and red onions. The pig is then sowed up to keep all of the flavor adding ingredients inside of the pig.
Then a large bamboo pole is inserted through the pig which will be used to turn the pig slowly over the hot charcoal fire to give the pig the golden brown crispy skin that looks and tastes so good. The pigs feet are tied up and the pig tightly secured to the bamboo pole to ensure it does not slide around during the cooking process.
The guys that turn the letchon pigs must sit next to the hot coals for hours on end as the Filipino roasted pork is a slow cooking method that allows the pig to get to a completely cooked state in anywhere from 3 - 6 hours depending on the size of the pig. This is hard work as the pigs range in weight from 40lbs to over a hundred depending on the size and the bamboo poles are hand turned the entire time, if the guys stop turning the pig the hot coals will burn the skin.
After removing the pig from the bamboo pole, it is placed on a large wooden letchon baboy platter and generally a very large sized knife is placed in the back. After a prayer, the fun begins, if you are shy, a letchon dinner is not the place for you. A full size pig can disappear very quickly especially the skin as it is a delicacy and everyone from elders to young little ones enjoy the crispy pig skin. There is nothing like enjoying a great big meal with family and friends which is what a whole roasted pig is about, spending time with those that matter and eating good food. There will usually be many other items alongside the pig from pancit, lumpia, and even fried chicken, but if there is a whole pig that will always be the first to disappear.
A Whole Roasted Pig - Letchon Baboy
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