Superb! An experiment with wonderful results! The finest and thinnest crispy lechon skin with the aroma and crunch of truffled salt. The ribs redolent with flavor and so incredibly juicy. Sweetness and pungency from slowly roasted garlic; truffle puree coating all of the stuffing items and walls of the pig’s cavity. The meat was well-seasoned and aromatic. An unusual variation on lechon that is probably going to become a MM household favorite. The idea started when I found a bag of fresh cranberries at the newly opened S&R Cebu in the reclamation area. I bought it and some oranges with the intention of making cranberry sauce/compote. Then I thought, why not do a version of Thanksgiving dinner where the main course was lechon, but served with cranberry sauce and potatoes…
A roughly 3.5-4.0 kilo cleaned weight lechon de leche was prepared for seasoning. Into the cavity went some garlic, onions, salt, black pepper,thyme, rosemary, olive oil and roughly 4 teaspoons of black truffle puree.
A friend brought back the pureed black truffles in a the small bottle a few months ago from a trip to Rome.
Another friend sent the truffle salt over. And we had some truffle oil as well. So why not use as many forms of black truffle as we had on hand? :) We sprinkled some truffle salt inside the cavity.
I remembered to put some peeled and cut up potatoes, hoping they would absorb all of the pig juices and truffle flavor inside the cavity.
Before it was expertly stitched up by Arnold, our master lechonero.
We didn’t give this piggy the “accupuncture” treatment because I was afraid it was too small and the skin too thin. We also didn’t add coconut water which would have helped to caramelize the skin a little more evenly.
So while it doesn’t get a prize for best looks, I can assure you the taste certainly made up for that minor shortcoming…
The skin was crisp and wafer thin. Hardly any fat whatsoever on this mini-beast, and the meant was amazingly succulent and tender. A last minute sprinkle of truffle salt meant there was a salty crunch to each bite, and the heat on the skin surface released the aroma of truffle bits in the salt. The potatoes were superb! A bit soggy, but soaked with flavor. Some would like more roasted color on their potatoes, but these ones worked well with the rich meat and skin. The cranberry sauce was a good accompaniment, but many of the crew seemed to find it a bit new or a little strange, my explanation that it was a bit like “their” version of acharra in the West. I liked the pairing of sweet/tart cranberry with lechon, but it wasn’t necessary really.
The final verdict? Two thumbs up, definitely. The crew, who are used to my messing around with odd ingredients, have had their first taste of black truffles and they loved it. Black truffles don’t appeal to everyone, as they have an unusual aroma and flavor. But in this instance, the pairing of young pork and truffles worked very well indeed. :)