In Brooklyn Flea market is a stand called Porchetta that sells exactly that—porchetta, chopped into tiny, tiny pieces and stuffed into a chewy roll.
The roast pork sandwiches aren’t cheap—$7 each—but they’re a big hit. The blend of garlic, sage and rosemary and the crunchy pork skin keeps people coming back.
“I’m like a good drug dealer. It sells itself,” said the girl manning the Porchetta booth, which often closes early because its food sells out fast.
Luckily we no longer have to fly to New York—or Cebu, home to excellent lechon, boneless or otherwise—for delicious boneless pork roast. Businesses devoted to serving flavorful slabs of lechon belly continue to open around the metro.
One is Red Pig, run by couple Jerome Morales and Nicole Camacho in Marikina. Morales, whose passion is cooking, created the lechon belly recipe.
“I wanted to make something small and affordable enough so families can enjoy the traditional lechon that Filipinos love to have for celebrations,” he says.
He uses a mix of 10 herbs and spices to make sure each belly is flavorful. He points out: “Customers say our lechon belly is so tasty that it doesn’t need any sauce!”
Original or spicy
You can choose between original and spicy. One slab of the lechon belly, usually two kilos, is good for eight to 10 people. A kilo is P685.
“What’s good is it’s boneless, so you can eat it up to the last piece. You know you’re getting your money’s worth,” says Jerome. Orders must be made one day in advance.
Since the business opened in February, orders have been pouring in from people who serve lechon belly at parties or just for lunch or dinner.
If you order four kilos, Red Pig delivers for free. Otherwise, there’s a delivery charge of P150. Budget meals and smaller servings (¼, ½ , ¾ and 1 kilo) are available in the Camachos’ store on Carmine Street, Marikina.
‘Pulutan’ et al
There are different ways to enjoy lechon belly. Our favorites:
1) With rice: Of course it’s good with rice. And what they say is true—Red Pig’s lechon belly is so tasty we didn’t feel the need for sauce. But if you’re stubborn and still want something to dip it in, the soy sauce-chili-vinegar mix is a good choice.
2) With your favorite beer: It’s excellent pulutan. Make sure your beer is ice-cold.
3) With pan de sal: Blame our Porchetta obsession, but a favorite way to eat lechon belly is in a sandwich. The beloved pan de sal is actually a better choice than the tough and chewy bread served in Brooklyn. The softness of the pan de sal goes great with the succulent meat and crispy skin—the explosion of textures and flavors will leave you wanting more.
Making your own lechon belly sandwich is easy. Chop the lechon belly pieces (or cut them with kitchen scissors). Stuff the pieces into your pan de sal.
Make sure you get a nice blend of meat and skin. Add fresh herbs. We like using arugula, alfalfa and basil.
If you like a little spice, add a few drops of Tabasco. We were able to make more than 20 sandwiches from just one lechon belly slab.
Visit Red Pig Boneless Lechon Belly is at 1 Carmine St. ACC Building Annex, SSS Village Concepcion Dos, Marikina City. Call 7992487, 0916-7888311 and 0947-3251399.