June 17th was my husband’s birthday. We had a little dinner party last night to celebrate. Nothing fancy, though. The only expensive item on the menu was the two-and-a-half kilos of lechon. The national food of the Philippines, lechon refers to a whole pig roasted over live coals. Best eaten while the rind is still crisp, with the sweet-sour liver dunking sauce on the side, lechon does not taste so good after reheating. The most popular way of serving leftover lechon is by cooking them as a stew–paksiw.
Paksiw is the generic name for stews made with vinegar. To make paksiw na lechon, the meat is slow-cooked in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, peppercorns, bay leaves, sugar, salt and whatever leftover liver sauce there is. It sometimes happens that there is no leftover sauce. In which case, some substitutions may be in order. One option is to used commercial lechon sauce available bottled in most supermarkets. Another option is to use a can of liver spread diluted in a cup of meat broth. Or, if you have a lot of leftover lechon, you may choose both options and mix them all together.
In this recipe, since we had about a kilo of leftover lechon and no leftover sauce, I used a whole bottle of commercial lechon sauce.
1 kilo of lechon
1 head of garlic, crushed
3 onions, halved and sliced
1/2 to 3/4 c. of vinegar
1/2 c. of dark soy sauce
8 peppercorns, pounded
3/4 to 1 c. of light brown sugar
2 bay leaves
1 c. of meat broth
1 bottle of lechon sauce (about 1-1/2 cups)
Cooking procedure :
Place the chopped lechon in a large heavy sauce pan, casserole or wok. Add all the ingredients except the lechon sauce. Bring to a boil. Stir well. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Pour in the lechon sauce and bring to a boil. Add more meat broth, if necessary. Adjust the seasonings. Some people like their paksiw na lechon more sour than sweet; other, just the opposite. Simmer for another five minutes. Turn off the heat and leave for the flavors to develop for another 10 minutes before serving.