Last weekend, my cousin Rupert (also known to the cousins as Pipo) celebrated his birthday in Batangas with a special Filipino lunch celebration. And as always, the star of the show was the Lechon/ Roasted Pig that Pipo stuffed himself. So ironic though that he turned Vegan 2 months ago so he couldn't enjoy his birthday treat.
The word Lechon originated from the Spanich term leche (milk) . In a lot of regions, lechon is prepared throughout the year and especially during special occasions like festivals, holidays or birthdays. It refers to a suckling pig that stuffed, seasoned and skewered with entrails removed. The pig is attached to a rod and is roasted whole over a charcoal and turned in a rotisserie action. In the Philippines, we often serve it with a special sauce made out of liver combined with vinegar, garlic or pepper. If you don't have time to make your own, you can also buy a ready-made sauce in the local grocery for convenience (Mang Tomas brand).
My cousin Pipo stuffed this lucky pig with a lot of tanglad/lemongrass, garlic, crushed pepper and rock salt. And the meat turned out really tasty, stringy and juicy... I actually didn't need to put sauce on it. My favorite parts of the lechon aside from the crispy balat/skin are the ribs and the tiyan/stomach. They absorb the most flavor from the stuffing and they're oh-so-juicy all the time. So next time there's lechon, you know the parts you should go for!
My sous chef Henri tasting the stringy meat! :)
Henri shares my sentiment: I love how the meat captures the lemongrass flavor. It's well seasoned and the crispiness of the skin is just amazing!
Now, I owe myself a good work-out after this! Happy Birthday Pipo!