Serving lechon during the holiday season has become a tradition in many homes, ours included. But what to do with the leftovers?
Turn them into paksiw, naturally. Stewing the roasted lechon in an abundant sauce turns it into a hearty meal that’s great when served with lots of hot, cooked rice. It makes the leftover lechon almost as good as the original meal.
Over the years, I’ve managed to concoct the right proportion of ingredients for making the perfect sauce for paksiw na lechon. The sauce has just the right consistency—being not too thick and not too watery—and the taste is neither too sweet nor too sour.
I’ve also found that it’s best to debone the lechon before you cook it into paksiw. That way, those pesky bits of bone won’t get in the way of hearty eating.
You can make this recipe with any leftover lechon, or just buy two kilos of cooked lechon from your favorite lechon stand and use either the sauce provided or any of the bottled lechon sauces available in the supermarket (be sure to buy a good brand).
Paksiw na Lechon
2 – 2½ k sliced lechon
2 tbsp corn oil
1 whole head garlic
6 c lechon liver sauce
2½ c water
¼ c +2 tbsp sugar
½ c vinegar
Carefully remove the bones from the lechon. Discard the bones. In a large casserole, heat corn oil and sauté garlic until golden (do not burn garlic). Pour in lechon liver sauce, water and sugar. Stir to blend. Add vinegar and let it simmer without stirring. Taste a teaspoon of the simmering sauce and, if desired, adjust to taste by adding either more sauce, water, sugar or vinegar. The consistency of the sauce should be between thick and thin and should not be watery.
Add the deboned lechon slices and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve hot with cooked rice.
* If you’ve refrigerated the leftover lechon, bring it to room temperature before cooking it.
* Don’t cut the lechon into pieces that are too small so they don’t dissolve in the sauce. Pieces that are around 1½ to 2 inches would be just right.
* If using bottled lechon sauce, you would need around five to six 11-ounce bottles to make the six cups called for in the recipe. Also, check the labels closely. Some bottles of lechon sauce are spicy (labeled “hot”), which may not be suitable to everyone’s taste.
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