There were a lot of things I wanted to do in the Phillipines – see my friend; Anton, lie on a beach, get scuba certified… but most importantly.. I really wanted to see a whole pig being roasted. And then eat it. Ravenously. Luckily for me, my good friend and host, Anton, does this often with his family and was able to arrange a roast during my visit. And so we packed a weekend bag (of elastic waist pants and gut-shielding tops) and headed out to his family’s farm 40 minutes outside of Manila.
Anton failed to mention that his family’s farm, known as Casa Balbina, is paradise. The old farmhouse sits just off the main road, and features some of the most gorgeous light fixtures and original wooden floors I’ve ever seen. We had the pleasure of staying overnight in the farmhouse.
The whole pig roast process would begin early the next morning. Of course we couldn’t start the next day without a bit of breakfast.. sticky rice steamed in banana leaves, eaten with a touch of sugar and freshly baked pandesal. After breakfast, a small pig was slaughtered and prepped for the roast. Have you ever seen a pig being driven? Well, this is what it looks like:
These fellas took turns sitting around and carefully turning the pig on a 10ft long spit. A steering wheel ingeniously attached to the end made for convenient roasting. Every once in awhile, the pig was brushed with palm fronds to redistribute the juices over the skin – resulting in this:
To go with the lechon, we had a couple more amazing dishes – one being this fantastic blood cake and chicken soup. The soup was a little sour and tangy, with plenty of ginger giving the dish its kick. Chunks of bone in chicken and cakes made with pigs blood and rice made it super hearty. I wanted more but I knew I had to save room for the lechon…
The main course – tender, fall of the bone, moist, fatty, succulent, ridiculously good roasted pork. Served with plenty of lechon sauce – a slightly sweet and tangy sauce flavored with the liver of the pig and thickened with breadcrumbs.
Of course the best part is the crispy skin – and there was plenty of it!
Thank you Anton for the fattest, most amazing food experience ever!