|Broiled Pork Liempo|
|Braised Pork Liempo|
1. BOIL - Place the liempo (about 3-5 pounds each cut) in a pot of water (enough to cover) with 3 bay leaves, 5 cloves of garlic, 1 whole (peeled) onion, some salt to taste (do not overdo, as it is easier to sprinkle more salt when eating), 10 peppercorns, and optional celery. Boil for about an hour. Place on a cooling rack and let drip-dry (or place in fridge overnight). When I did this step, I boiled 3 such pieces, then after drying, I placed in a vacuum-sealed bag then froze, for future use. I then used the same broth to par-boil chicken pieces for 20 minutes prior to deep-frying. Reserve the liquid. You can freeze about 3 cups of this liquid for each piece of liempo and place in a plastic cup to freeze, then thaw and use for the next step when you are ready.
2. BAKE - Place the rack in the second lowest level, and pre-heat oven to 350°F. Rub the liempo on all sides with your favorite spices (I like using garlic salt and ground pepper. The garlic salt I used here that shows in the photo also had some parsley flakes). Use 2-3 cups of the boiling liquid placed in a deep pan (I used 9x13 deep pan) to keep meat moist. Place liempo on a roasting rack and sprinkle extra spices on the skin. (Tip: If not sticking, spray some grilling oil on top then sprinkle the spices). Bake on the lower rack for 1-1/2 to 2 hours to further cook and make sure meat is tender. I baked/broiled two pieces of this so that we ate the plain broiled "lechon kawali"-looking liempo dipped in vinegar, then used the other piece for braising the next day.
3. BROIL - Set the oven to Broil on High, and time for about 30 minutes. Keep checking through the glass door if skin starts to bubble up and become crispy. You might have to rotate the meat around if heat is uneven. If skin tends to become crisp on some spots and other spots are not yet crispy, you can turn to Low Broil. Keep that meat in the lower rack, because it can easily burn if placed on higher rack while broiling.
Of course at this point, this looks like the Lechon Kawali, minus a lot of the fat/oil. You can then enjoy this plain dipped in vinegar-salt-pepper-garlic-onion mixture. My sons and I had this as heavy merienda one afternoon.
4. BRAISE - I used the leftover sauce that I had when I tried hamonado a la ChefBitoy, so that the sauce already had that hamonado flavor before I used it to braise the liempo.
1.36L pineapple juice
½ cup brandy
1/3 c soy sauce
1 cup brown sugar
1 head of garlic minced
2 med onions, minced
5 cinnamon bark or 1 tsp ground cinnamon
5 pcs star anise
1 tsp all spice powder
1 tsp ground black pepper
(As you will see in the slide show, the photo showing ingredients for hamonado included a ham in the bowl. We had that for supper, then I reserved the sauce for braising this liempo. Matipid talaga ako eh. Haha!). So, I placed the braising liquid in a wok, placed the crispy liempo on top and simmered for 30 minutes, occasionally scooping some liquid to pour on top of the liempo.
What I did not expect was the hubby would actually try and actually LIKED this! He looked at the sliced liempo with the sauce and removed the fat and savored the meat. I told him it was the pork belly that is often used for bacon, which I asked the slaughterers to not turn into bacon, but to just cut in slabs with the skin intanct. I also had one of my American friends taste this and she loved it. You can serve this either with plain rice or mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.