Lechon Liempo (Filipino-Style Roasted Pork Belly) Recipe

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For a Memorial Day cookout, you want something big and impressive that will put all other grillers to shame. Nothing fits the bill quite like a roast pig, and there's no roast pig as good as Filipino lechon—seriously, you haven't lived life to the fullest until you've had some.

I've found there's nothing like lechon to bring all friends and family out of from every crack and crevice, and you need them all to finish that beast, but what if you don't have that prerequisite crowd to down a whole pig? Luckily there's an answer for that, and it's called lechon liempo.

Lechon liempo takes the tastiest portion of the swine—the belly—and gives it the slow-roasted treatment that results in succulent meat and crackling skin. It's enough to just roll up a piece of belly and put it on the spit, but I took the extra step of seasoning the inside with garlic paste.

As you can see, there's some unevenness on the pig skin but that's of little importance, as it did nothing to hold back the sheer awesomeness of the juicy, flavorful belly meat and the salty, crunchy rind. It's one grilled treat that's hard to beat.

Recipe Facts

Active: 45 mins
Total: 3 hrs 30 mins
Serves: 10 to 12 servings

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Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic

  • 2 tablespoons salt

  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 5 pounds pork belly

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, garlic, salt, vinegar, and black pepper.

  2. Lay pork belly on a cutting board skin-side down. Score flesh diagonally about every 2-inches. Repeat in opposite direction, creating a diamond pattern. Spread garlic mixture evenly all over flesh.

  3. Roll pork into a cylinder and tie tightly with butcher twine about every inch.

  4. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on either side of the charcoal grate and place a foil pan between the two piles of coals. Cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Run spit of the rotisserie through middle of pork and secure ends with rotisserie forks. Place on the rotisserie, cover, and cook at medium heat until skin has darkened and crisped and pork registers 160oF when an instant read thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the meat, about 3 hours, replenishing coals to maintain temperature as needed. Remove from grill and let rest for 10 minutes. Remove spit, slice, and serve.

Special equipment

Grill, rotisserie, disposable foil pan

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
595 Calories
45g Fat
1g Carbs
44g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 595
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 45g 58%
Saturated Fat 15g 77%
Cholesterol 159mg 53%
Sodium 1236mg 54%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 44g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 92mg 7%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 464mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)