Boneless Lechon (or as some refer to it as Bellychon) is one juicy and meaty dish that is taking the whole traditional Lechon game into a whole new level.
It is a well-known fact that in the Philippines, Lechons are a massive part of celebrations, and boneless lechons are slowly being recognized as necessary in huge feasts as well.
Made from an open charcoal fire, that is typically how boneless lechons roast.
It’s roasted until it is soft enough to crumble inside your mouth, and its skin turns into a beautiful golden crisp.
While a traditional Lechon brings forth a whole pig to the table, boneless lechons came from the entire belly of the pig.
It is then cut, de-boned, and spiced with different herbs to add more twists and excitement to the traditional dish.
Pork belly is a flesh located under the pig where the loins and spareribs are.
While it is called ‘belly,’ this does not always necessarily mean its the stomach. Some use the shoulder or another part that is rich in fats.
This particular part of the pig is the one that is rich in flavor due to the fat surrounding it.
While pork bellies do not have a lot of meat, it is one of the most natural parts to eat because of its tenderness.
Chefs highly approved of using pork bellies because it can turn as flavorful and tender as pork loins.
And it is the most delicate part to eat due to the same fat it secretes when cooked.
Because of the tenderness, it allows people to be more playful with their dishes and throw various ingredients to mix in with the meat.
The best thing about pork bellies is that they can head straight to the table, fresh. Just add a little bit of salt and pepper, throw it into the fire, and you already have a meal.
Traditional lechons at times can be costly and tedious, especially when preparing for a huge feast.
Since bellychons or boneless lechons are small, it is more cost-effective to buy.
Your capital or budget for the celebration will no longer be as expensive compared to preparing for a whole roasted pig.
Every ingredient will decrease in number due to the size and consumption needed in preparing for the roasted boneless Lechon.
The main ingredient is, of course, the chopped and de-boned pork belly (or shoulder if you prefer). Usually, this cost around Php 300 – Php 400 per kilo.
This, in turn, will allow you to explore more resources that will help in making your dish better.
Boneless lechons’ typical cooking practice is to roast using an oven to keep things more comfortable and more straightforward.
Over the years, people have developed more efficient ways to cook the dish without risking their flavors quickly.
To start, choose the best pork belly slab (or shoulder, if preferred) in any local supermarket. One can also choose to cut it from a freshly butchered pork themselves.
Lay all the herbs and ingredients such as lemongrass leaves, scallions, and onions on one side of the belly.
Roll one end of the belly until it reached a spiral form, with all the ingredients compressed and secured together.
Secure the rolled pork belly by tying it with kitchen twine and rub oil all over the skin. This, in turn, will help in making the skin crisp and golden.
Roast the meat for about 2 hours, cut the boneless Lechon into preferred size, top it off with garnish, then serve!
Bellychons or boneless lechons are becoming famous for parties, and people enjoy it more and more because of its convenience.
People no longer have to wait in line because it is served in bite sizes already.
You get to eat the best parts of the Lechon straight away without the hassle of having to wait for it to be chopped and de-boned.
And we all know how hard it is to wait when that mouth-watering aroma of the freshly cooked Lechon is in front of you, right?
That is why more people are enjoying boneless Lechon because of its convenience, effectiveness, and above all, its taste!