Leftover Lechon

Some of you may remember my Lechon story from last year in which I explained that the wife and I alternate between our families each Thanksgiving. Since we spent last Thanksgiving eating Lechon (Filipino roasted pig) and other goodies with my family, we spent this past Thanksgiving eating turkey and other goodies with my wife’s family.

As usual, I had a wonderful time with the in-laws this year, and as usual I couldn’t help but have fatty pork on the brain. Knowing that I’d be needing to satisfy a serious lechon fix, I called my grandmother with specific instructions to send a heapful of leftovers back with my parents since I’d be seeing them the next day. Usually requests like this are futile–any goodies meant for me are almost always intercepted by rogue vultures (i.e. my brothers) long before they are within my grasp. This time however, the pork gods smiled upon me as the foil-wrapped piggy package arrived safely, unscathed and uneaten.

What to do with leftover roasted pig? Make Paksiw na Lechon: number 3 with a bullet on the Five Point Pork Exploding Heart Technique.

The Five Point Pork Exploding Heart Technique:

Paksiw na Lechon is a Filipino dish that is usually made from leftover lechon. Like an adobo, Paksiw na Lechon is cooked in vinegar, but the sauce is then also thickened, enriched, and sweetened with the liver dipping sauce that is sometimes served with the roast pig. This sweet liver sauce can be made from the liver of the roasted pig itself, or it can also be a bottled liver sauce that is bought from the store, such as the popular Mang Tomas brand.

Since I didn’t have any sort of liver sauce on hand (made from pork liver, bottled, or otherwise), I decided to jerry-rig my own liver sauce using chicken livers. And continuing with the pork and apple combo that I last tried with my Pork Belly Adobo, I again incorporated some apples into this dish by throwing some diced apples into the liver sauce, along with some apple brandy I still had from the fruitcake I baked some time ago.

I’ve never had Paksiw na Lechon before, so I can’t truthfully say if my version tastes as it should taste.  But my finished dish did taste tart and sweet, which is how it’s supposed to be, I assume, considering that many recipes I found online added a considerable amount of sugar to the vinegar-based stew. The sweetness in my dish comes from both sugar and the apples. And I will venture to say that my Paksiw na Lechon at least tasted good, and that has to count for something right?

Paksiw na Lechon

Serves 2-4

2 tablespoons bacon grease, or canola oil
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 pound leftover lechon, skin and meat, roughly chopped
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups liver sauce (recipe below)
1/2 cup water

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic cloves and saute until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan, EXCEPT the liver sauce, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the liver sauce and the last 1/2 cup water to the pan and stir to combine. Continue simmering for another 30 minutes, adding more water if the pan becomes too dry or if the sauce becomes too thick.

Taste the sauce and season appropriately, again adding more water to obtain desired consistency. Serve with steamed white rice.

Lechon Liver Sauce

Makes about 1 to 1 1/2 cups

3 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion, diced
1 small granny smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
1/4 pound chicken livers
1/3 cup apple brandy (regular brandy can be used as well)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup water

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and the apples and saute until softened, about 10 minutes.

Move the onions and apples to the perimeter of the pan. Melt the last tablespoon of butter in the center of the pan, then add the chicken livers. Cook the chicken livers until brown on both sides, about 10 minutes total.

Turn off the heat, then CAREFULLY add the brandy to the pan to deglaze. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan with a spoon or spatula. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, and water to the pan, return to high heat, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove pan from heat, and allow liver mixture to cool slightly. Pour contents of pan into a food processor or blender and process until very smooth. The consistency of the sauce should be similar to ketchup. Add more water if necessary.

The Five Point Pork Exploding Heart Technique:

  • jay p December 7, 2008, 7:16 pm

    as i was skimming the article i sorta got confused thinking you turned the lechon into cake! 😮
    on a side note isnt mang tomas available in your local asian market?

  • tarcs December 7, 2008, 7:56 pm

    Sinigang is also a great alternative for left-over lechon.

  • Mila December 7, 2008, 9:34 pm

    Hope you kept some of the paksiw for tomorrow, it gets better after a day or two in my opinion. The picture looks great!

  • Manggy December 7, 2008, 10:38 pm

    Argh, paksiw na lechon! In many ways I like it even better than regular lechon :) And yes, yours does look yummeh (and it does count for something, silleh). How do you think your sauce compared to the bottled variety? I have with me the recipe from Recipes of the Philippines (19th ed, 1973):
    1 whole pig’s liver, roasted (I dunno how much this would weigh)
    1 cup water
    1 head garlic, minced and browned in 4 tablespoons lard
    1/4 cup vinegar
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/4 cup bread crumbs
    1 tsp black pepper (more!)
    salt to taste
    1 tbsp chopped onion.
    Grind liver, add water, strain (?), Saute onion. Add liver, bread crumbs, vinegar, salt, sugar. Add browned garlic and lard. Season with pepper, cook till thick.
    I thought yours might be less sweet but I guess by proportion, a tablespoon sugar sounds about right :) The apple is a nice touch!

  • Erin December 8, 2008, 7:49 am

    “foil wrapped piggy package”, that is so awesome. I wish someone would give me one. My family is Canadian, we don’t exactly have the corner on lechon.

  • greasemonkey December 8, 2008, 8:11 am

    great improv work! sounds like the paksiw you made would be a show stealer vs the leftover turkey! what i really want to say is…
    the fruitcake looks incredibly dense, sticky, moist, and heavy! =) you just need to roll, er, slice one up for me!

  • grace December 8, 2008, 2:48 pm

    My boyfriend’s screen name is lechon :)! Sigh..oh lechon lechon…great post!!
    Grace[is]full.com: Food Blog Tag! Youre It.
    I tagged you on my blog!

  • Cynthia December 8, 2008, 5:38 pm

    I can’t wait for the day when I can actually taste lechon.

  • Joelen December 9, 2008, 9:13 am

    Nako! Gutom na ako… :) Looks awesome and you always manage to get me hungry for my mom’s home cooking…

  • [eatingclub] vancouver || js December 9, 2008, 2:33 pm

    For some reason, I was never able to get into paksiw na lechon before. Maybe it’s time for a revisit.

  • dhanggit December 10, 2008, 5:30 am

    Yay, I feel like im in a Fiesta in Philippines. Paksiw na lechon is truly the best way to cook left-over lechon. Your photo looks delicious! More white rice please :-)

  • kristin December 10, 2008, 4:43 pm

    I just found this linked on someone else’s site and I must say I really enjoyed clicking through and looking at the recipes. They all look really good!

  • oggi December 10, 2008, 6:11 pm

    I’m jealous. I lechon and love paksiw na lechon.

  • caninecologne December 10, 2008, 9:00 pm

    OMFG, can i eat at your house? lechon is the ultimate Filipino party food.

  • Jescel December 11, 2008, 1:56 pm

    i miss lechon paksiw so much. now i’m totally craving it, and it’s your fault.. maybe you can send some my way? :o)

  • Lori Lynn @ Taste With The Eyes December 12, 2008, 7:56 pm

    Love love love the liver sauce, but no lighting it on fire? Really a terrific recipe which I definitely intend to use, but it will be on fire at some point…Er, I think I am addicted to flambe.

  • Jude December 15, 2008, 7:28 pm

    Definitely know what you meant when you mentioned rogue vultures. I mean cmon man don’t steal my kutsinta.
    Almost had a seizure when your fruitcake pic came out of nowhere. Bad bad memories with that stuff.

  • Burnt Lumpia December 16, 2008, 2:58 pm

    Hello jay p. Yes, I can easily find the bottled sauce at the filipino market, but I wanted to try and make my own.
    Great idea, tarcs. Lechon sinigang sounds delicious.
    You’re right, mila. It is much better the next day.
    Hi manggy. My sauce was still quite sweet, especially with the apples. And thanks for that recipe too!
    But canadians do have canadian bacon, Erin. 😉
    Heh, heh, greasemonkey. It was sticky-icky-icky!
    Thanks for the tag, grace. I’ll try and get to it if time permits.
    Hopefully you won’t have to wait long, cynthia.
    Thanks Joelen! Though I’m sure your mother’s cooking is much better than my cooking;)
    Hi js. I never got into it myself, though I do like it now.
    Thanks dhanggit!
    Thanks for visiting kristen!
    Thanks oggi!
    Come on over caninecologne;)
    If only there were a lechon by mail service, jescel! 😉
    Great idea, Lori Lynn! I didn’t even think of doing a flambe, was too paranoid of lighting the house on fire:)
    Yeah, it was kinda a random place to mention my fruitcake. But you should try getting some good memories of fruitcake, jude.

  • manju December 18, 2008, 10:30 am

    Since I just finished a bowl of your pork belly adobo recipe, I can almost taste this!… : )

  • cheryl May 8, 2009, 9:18 pm

    you can season your lechon paksiw with patis (fish sauce) instead of salt and it will be tasty!


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