Filipino-Style Roast Pork Belly with Chile Vinegar

Filipino-Style Roast Pork Belly with Chile Vinegar

Photo by Alex Lau

This method for roasting pork belly simplifies and mimics the effects of traditionally boiled and deep-fried lechon kawali, the celebratory Philippine pork dish with crackling skin and succulent meat.

Ingredients

    • 1 (4–5-pound) skin-on, boneless pork belly
    • Kosher salt
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 1 (12-ounce) bottle unseasoned rice vinegar
    • 12 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 6–12 green Thai chiles, lightly crushed but left whole
    • 2 serrano chiles, torn into small pieces
    • 4 (12-oz.) bottles hard apple cider
    • 2 tablespoons honey

Preparation

    1. Season pork generously with salt. Set, skin side up, on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Chill at least 12 hours and up to 2 days.
    2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour 4 cups water into baking sheet with pork. Rub pork skin with oil; season with more salt. Roast, adding more water to pan as needed, until skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of pork registers 195°F–200°F, 1 1/2–1 3/4 hours.
    3. Meanwhile, pour out 1/2 cup vinegar from bottle (save for another use). Remove pouring spout from bottle and add garlic, chiles, and a large pinch of salt. Cover and shake to distribute; let sit until ready to serve. (Or, combine in a glass jar or bowl).
    4. Bring hard cider and honey to a boil in a large saucepan; cook until thickened and very syrupy, 30–45 minutes.
    5. Increase oven temperature to 450°F. Continue to roast pork until skin is browned and puffed, 15–20 minutes (add a few more splashes of water to baking sheet if juices are scorching). Transfer rack with pork to a cutting board; let rest 20 minutes.
    6. Pour off fat from baking sheet and add 1/2 cup water, scraping up browned bits. Return baking sheet to oven for a few minutes if needed to help loosen browned bits. Stir into reduced cider mixture.
    7. Remove skin from pork, using the tip of a knife to get it started (it should come off in 1 large piece with a little help). Slice pork lengthwise into 2"-wide strips, then crosswise into 1/2"-thick pieces. Transfer to a platter and drizzle with reduced cider mixture. Break skin into large pieces and arrange on top; place a few chiles from vinegar around. Serve with chile vinegar.
  1. Do Ahead
    1. Chile vinegar can be made 1 week ahead. Store at room temperature.

Nutritional Info

  • Calories396
  • Carbohydrates13 g(4%)
  • Fat16 g(24%)
  • Protein38 g(76%)
  • Saturated Fat3 g(14%)
  • Sodium989 mg(41%)
  • Polyunsaturated Fat1 g
  • Fiber1 g(3%)
  • Monounsaturated Fat4 g
  • Cholesterol110 mg(37%)

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