How to Make Lechon De Leche or Roasted Suckling Pig The Crown Jewel of Filipino Cuisine

How to Make Lechon De Leche or Roasted Suckling Pig The Crown Jewel of Filipino Cuisine
Lechon De Leche, also known as Roasted Suckling Pig, is a prized culinary gem in many cultures around the world. This exquisite dish showcases a whole young pig, typically weighing around 20 to 30 pounds, roasted to perfection. Lechon De Leche is a centerpiece of celebratory feasts, special occasions, and important cultural gatherings.

The process of preparing Lechon De Leche is meticulous and time-consuming. The pig is marinated with a combination of spices, herbs, and sometimes vinegar, which imparts a delightful aroma and flavor. The pig is then slowly roasted over an open fire or in a specialized rotisserie, allowing the skin to crisp up and become golden brown, while the meat remains tender and succulent.

The result is a stunning culinary masterpiece with crispy and crackling skin that encases juicy and flavorful meat. The skin is one of the most coveted parts, known for its irresistible crunch and savory taste. The meat beneath the skin is incredibly tender, often seasoned with the flavors of the marinade, herbs, and spices.

Lechon De Leche holds a special place in many cultures as a symbol of abundance, generosity, and celebration. It is often the centerpiece of festive occasions such as weddings, birthdays, and holidays. The act of carving and serving the Lechon De Leche is a joyous event, as friends and family gather around to share in the feast.

Whether enjoyed with traditional sides such as rice, dipping sauces, or paired with a variety of accompaniments, Lechon De Leche offers a culinary experience that is both indulgent and unforgettable. Its rich flavors, crispy skin, and tender meat make it a true gastronomic delight and a testament to the artistry of roasted suckling pig.
How to Make Lechon De Leche or Roasted Suckling Pig The Crown Jewel of Filipino Cuisine
Lechon De Leche or Roasted Suckling Pig Recipe by : Philippine Cuisine
Ingredients: serve 12
  • 5kg dressed whole suckling pig
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 springs basil
  • 2 springs rosemary
  • 2 kg lemon grass or enough to stuff pigs cavity
  • Kitchen thread
  • Oil for basting
Wash the suckling pig inside and out wipe dry with paper towels.

Grind half of the black peppercorns. The remaining peppercorns should stay whole.

Crush, peel, and mince the garlic. Divide into 2 portions.

Rub the entire cavity of the pig with salt, crushed peppercorns, and half the garlic. Let it stand for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180C or 350F

Chop the basil leaves

Chop the rosemary.

Tie the lemon grass in bundle.

Stuff the pigs cavity with the remaining garlic, whole black peppercorns, basil leaves, rosemary, and lemon grass.

Sew cavity opening with kitchen thread using overlapping stitches.

Brush the skin with oil.

Roast in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Brushing with oil every 15 minutes for a crisp result. If any part of the pig stars to burn (feet, ears, etc) cover that part with foil.

Increase heat to 200C or 400F and continue to roast for a further 30 minutes or until the skin is golden and crispy

Serving suggestion
Serve whole or individually with liver sauce on the side.

The making of a good roast suckling pic(lechon and litson are both correct) starts with the selection of the piglet. The best pigs for lechon are from a native breed that have an evenly spread fat content. This make the meat more tender than commercially bred hybrid pigs that are appreciated for their lean meat.

Lechon de leche means that the piglet between the ages 21 to 30 days is still suckling. These piglets are often made into cochinillo, a Spanish influenced dish.

Large pigs are not good for lechon as young ones. Their flesh is often tough, and their fat solidifies to quickly when served. It would therefore be better to have two ideally sized lechons rather than increasing the size of the pig for a large group.

The ideal size for lechon de leche are:

Age 30 days; live weight approx.. 7 – 7.5kg. dressed weight 4.5 – 5 kg serve 8 – 10

Age 45 days; live weight approx.. 8 – 8.5kg dressed weight: 5 – 5.5 kg ; serve 12 – 15

Age 60 days; live weight: approx. 10.5 – 11kg dressed weight: 7 – 8 kg serve 18 – 20

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