I will never be a vegetarian as long as there is fatty pork belly calling my name at the grocery store. Pork belly with its skin on is my favorite part of the hog. There is no shortage of ways to cook it. This time I made a small slab into a roll seasoned in the style of Philippine roasted pig and slow-baked it in the oven. It takes 2 days to prepare and roast. The roll is flavorful enough, no sauce is necessary.
Pork Belly Lechon Roll
3 pounds boneless pork belly slab, skin on
1 head garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
½ cup chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup chopped shallotss
4 lemongrass stalks, sliced
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fine sea salt
2 tablespoons crushed black pepper
1 tablespoon sea salt
- Place garlic, rosemary, shallots, lemongrass, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a food processor; pulse until just blended. With the skin side down, rub 2 tablespoons salt all over the meat; spread prepared paste evenly. Roll the slab and secure with kitchen twine. Rub the skin with the remaining salt. Poke the skin all over with a fork to ensure a nice crackling.
- Transfer to a roasting pan fitted with a rack and the bottom lined with foil. Place in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 24 hours to dry the skin.
- Preheat the oven to 320°F. Remove pork roll from refrigerator; pat dry skin if it appears moist. Roast pork roll for 5 hours.
- Increase temperature to 425°F; and continue roasting for another hour or until skin is golden and crackly. When done, remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before slicing.