In the Philippines every big occasion or major events like weddings, birthdays, fiestas and even family gatherings a whole spit roasted pig at the centre of the dining table is a must. These roasted pigs are always the centre of attention, a masterpiece in a buffet table and everybody will queue up for its crispy skin and favourite parts like belly and leg. Having said that after the party there is a huge amount of leftover meat from unwanted parts this then does not go to waste as these leftovers are divided into the families that partake in the celebration as a takeaway. If the roast pig was huge then everybody can take home something but if not, only the celebrant’s closest family members and friends are going enjoy these leftovers. So what do they do with it? The answer is this recycled dish, the Lechon Paksiw.
Lechon Paksiw, which means “Lechon” spit roasted pig and “Paksiw” to stew in vinegar, it’s the most appropriate name to describe the cooking process for this dish. Basically the leftovers like the bland meat and soggy chewy skin is slowly simmered with bones in vinegar and lechon sauce the sweet and spicy liver gravy that usually accompanies the roast pig which results to this fork tender meat in sweet, spicy and sour sauce. I know bland roasted pig leftover, liver sauce and vinegar does not sound enticing but trust me when you combine all of them together it’s phenomenal.
Sometimes Filipinos crave for this dish but we don’t want to wait for a big occasion to have left over roasted pig so we sometimes improvise by roasting pork in the oven or even deep frying it to attain that crackling pork skin texture and use Mang Tomas Sauce instead. A truly authentic Filipino dish that is a must try for those who loves sweet and sour recipes.
1 small size pork leg roast, bone in (roughly 2.5 kg, fat content should be around 20-25% to make a better pork crackling)
1 large bottle Mang Tomas Sauce
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cups water
1 tbsp peppercorns
4 pcs dried bay leaves
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 large red onion, chopped
- Pat dry the pork leg roast using paper towels, rub salt all over and place on a roasting pan skin side up. Bake the pork in a preheated oven at 160C for 1.5 hrs. Remove from oven then let it cool.
- Bake pork again in 180C preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes or until skin becomes crispy like lechon.
- Remove from oven, cool it down in a wire rack then cut into bite sized cubes.
- In a pot add oil then sauté garlic and onion for a minute.
- Add the cubed pork, the bone, water, vinegar, Mang Tomas sauce, soy sauce, sugar, peppercorn and bay leaves, bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes or until pork is fork tender and sauce is thick. Add water if necessary.
- Flavour with fish sauce and season with lots of freshly ground black pepper.