Mighty Meaty

Grilled herbed liempo (pork belly) and potatoes

casaveneracion.com Grilled herbed liempo (pork belly) and potatoesPork, the much maligned meat. In the forums, Ann, who works in Riyadh, says they try to cook Filipino food despite the absence of pork. JMom, in Durham, NC, sympathized because, being “such a porker, I wouldn’t know what to do if I had to live without it!”

Well, my family loves pork, bad press or not. And I think it’s just fitting that I am posting this grilled pork belly (liempo) and potatoes entry just a week before the Chinese Lunar New Year that ushers in the Year of the Pig.

Believe or not, this is a lazy cook’s recipe. My body clock had been going berserk the past week. I’ve been spending too many late nights since the (relaunch) of the forums which was followed by the launch of Pinoy Moms Network. As a result, I often fall asleep after lunch — despite the pounding and the sawing that goes with the construction of some new cabinets in the house.

So, earlier today, lazy me just placed everything in a roasting tin and alternated between watching TV and surfing the net while dinner cooked. Does easy mean bad quality? Of course not! The best thing about knowing how to cook is that you can be as lazy as you like and still be able to convince the whole family that you labored over the meal out of undying love for them. :razz:

You will need strips of pork liempo (belly), ideally about half an inch thick. You will also need 4-6 potatoes, cut into half-inch slices. For seasoning, you need salt and pepper. And for that special touch, you need oregano, thyme and rosemary. Fresh herbs would be best but my potted herbs are too small for picking so I went with my trusty old jars of dried herbs.

casaveneracion.com potato slices sprinkled with thyme, oregano, rosemary, salt and pepperBrush the bottom of a roasting tin with olive oil.

Arrange the sliced potatoes in a single layer.

Season the potatoes with salt and pepper, then sprinkle the herbs over them.

Place the rack over the potatoes. Arrange the strips of pork liempo about an inch apart so they won’t stick to each other during cooking.

casaveneracion.com arrange the pork belly strips on the roaster rack and place the rack above the potatoesSeason the pork with salt and pepper and sprinkle the herbs over them.

Grill in a 180oC oven for 20-25 minutes or until nicely browned.

Chop the pork liempo into serving size pieces and place on a platter. Drain the potatoes on several layers of absorbent kitchen paper. Remember that all the fat from the pork dripped onto the potatoes. While you definitely want all the flavors from the pork, you also want to remove as much of the fat as possible.

So, there. Enjoy your grilled herbed pork liempo and potatoes with hot rice and Kung Hei Fat Choi!

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