The classic Pinoy “mad dash” to offer a very similar product, in this case, boneless pork belly, is on in the Queen City of Cebu. In the next few months, more and more similar retailers will inevitably appear, and it will be one of the latest pork crazes for sure, just like it seems Balamban liempo was last year, and roasted chicken was before that, etc. Cary’s is a long-time purveyor of lechons in Cebu and a respected brand name. So is CNT, Alejo’s, Rico’s, etc. and I wonder how many will join the bandwagon, and how many new folks will set up their own stalls. As for consumers, they seem to be easily taken with the same product presented in different guises… We used to have inihaw na liempo, lechon kawali, and now, boneless pork belly. I wish all lechon purveyors in Cebu well, and I do believe healthy competition is always good for the consumer. But please don’t say Zubuchon copied the idea from you, okay? That claim could potentially land you a lawsuit. :) Like I said, we have had this on the Zubuchon menu since June 2011, but by no means have we ever claimed any ownership over it. Our version has no MSG added at all, no mixes, no shortcuts. We roast it wrapped around natural bamboo poles and we posted a pretty comprehensive recipe and list of ingredients on previous posts on this blog for all to see. I just made one last weekend in our backyard in Makati, so it’s really simple to do at home as well, see the photos below and ignore the one with Marketman in boxer shorts, hahaha. If you can’t be bothered to cook your own, you can order one instead. “Boneless Zubuchons” are flying out the doors with clients who insist on checking them in as baggage on their trips to Manila. For inquiries, please call 032.254.7342 and look for Yoli or Victor or Eva. They range in size from roughly 5-7 kilos cooked weight, and a six kilo Boneless Zubuchon would easily feed 20 hungry folks. Price is PHP480 per kilo. We do NOT airfreight the boneless lechons unaccompanied, as we are concerned about the total transit time for the meat (a much smaller and exposed cut of meat rather than a whole roasted pig).
For this version of Marketman’s whole roasted boneless pork belly, I used a rather western ingredient profile, not quite a porchetta, just imbento… Lots of kosher salt and cracked black pepper, three whole heads of slow roasted garlic, two handfuls of slow roasted shallots, lots of fresh thyme, italian parsley and rosemary. Dried whole Italian red chilies. Good olive oil.
I didn’t have a good needle to sew the pork up so we had to wrap twine around the belly instead. I actually like the effect this technique imparts, but for folks who want a smoother skin, you may have to “suture” it. Does that make sense? Dry the skin surface, add salt and slather with olive oil.
Roast over coals and watch the intensity of the heat closely. This will take 80-110 minutes, depending on the size of your pork belly and the heat source. Use a meat thermometer to be sure and take the meat off the coals when the internal temp hits 160F internally.
The skin blistered BEAUTIFULLY. I know, some people define beautiful skin as smooth and evenly colored. I love my pork skin, blistered, bubbled, light and evilly good looking… :)
Remove from the bamboo pole, remove all of the abaca twine and turn it right side up on the platter…
Boneless Roasted Pork Belly a la Marketman. It was delicious, with the crispest skin ever, and absolutely no sauces necessary. Served this with a leafy green salad and a nice hearty rice and prawn paella-ish dish.