"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Lechon al Horno (Oven Roasted Pork)

I was gonna title it lechon de horno but when I tried to google it,
From lechon de horno
there was not such a (Spanish) phrase. Lechon al horno was the phrase that appeared, and the recipes I saw were all in Spanish. Anyway, this is not a typical lechon because I used a smoked instead of plain pork. Around this time of the year, we usually prepare our freezers for storing our meats. As I posted about earlier, I froze my chickens. Yesterday, I packed and froze some pork, and tomorrow I will have beef. These are supplies for the next year's meat consumption.

My previous supplies of pork and chicken ran out before I had replenishment. But last month my SIL was cleaning out her freezer and gave me lots of pork ham and shoulder, all smoked.

From lechon de horno
I recently picked one that I originally intended to cook a la New England boiled dinner style, but after cooking it for 2-1/2 hours, I decided to grant my hubby's wish to have seafood that night. So I prepared this lechon the next day. There was so much skin and fat on this one (compared to, let's say, the shoulder), that I did not proceed having it as NEbd, and since photos of lechon kept popping into my head, finally I decided to roast the parboiled pork. I looked up instructions on how to prepare this. Since my pork was already boiled (with my usual spices of garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf and coarse kosher salt), I just proceeded with the rest of the preparation to the baking part. I did let the pork drip excess juices, even wiped the skin with paper towel and let it sit on a cookie rack for at least 3 hours out in the garage (40 deg F). Remembering how my brother-in-law in Canada (my sister's hubby) told me how he would roast a pig's head (which he got free from the butcher), I then set the rack to the lowest level and started the heat at highest temp. I sprayed the skin with oil and sprinkled garlic salt generously and roasted the pork for 15 minutes before lowering the temp down to 350 deg F to bake
a closer look
(meat appears red because it is ham/cured)
for additional hours (I lost track! I was instructing my son to start preparing the table, and he asked, "Are you working tonight, Ma? It's only 3:30." Ooops! So I just kinda continued and continued, rotating the pan and brushing it's own oil onto the skin once in a while until I was satisfied that it was crunchy and that it was finally supper time. I probably roasted it for about 3 hours total, but since this was parboiled already, I could have cooked it for about an hour or so only, or when the skin is crunchy all around.)

I prepared gravy using a Knorr mix for pork gravy, and served this lechon with peas, and mashed potatoes/rice. I loved the crunchy skin and the different flavor, it being smoked. However, I could feel my arteries constricting after several cuts of skin even if I removed the fat underneath. I did have some more the next day for lunch and this time I used my favorite dip of vinegar with garlic, which tended to neutralize the effects of the fat.

My husband prefers the New England Boiled Dinner style. But when I told him I was getting sick of preparing pork hams this way, he offered a compromise and suggested we split them into NEbd or lechon. Fine with me!

UPDATE as of 12-21-08:
I prepared this yesterday using a rotisserie. It turned out much better!


  1. manang, i would like to make this pero wala ako rotisserie. gus2 ko sana magtesting gumawa nito before the b-day of my bb girl pra me idea n ako sa outcome. how ito gawin sa convetional oven lng? ty.

  2. ellen,
    It was trial and error for me...boil first with your fave spices (mine is peppercorn, bay leaves, garlic and kosher salt) mga 1 hr then let drip dry overnight. Heat oven mga 400 deg, place lechon on lower rack, bake 15 minutes then lower temp to 350 and bake until skin is crisp (siguro will take an hr or so), rotate every now and then. Ipatong mo sa rack para tumulo yung mantika sa pan.


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