Kulinarya was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney, who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colourful cuisine. Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family recipes. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino Food as we do.
For this months Kulinarya we decided to do Noche Buena - What is a Filipino Christmas to you? To me a typical Filipino Christmas is a gathering of family, lots of food, lots of presents and church.
This year is going to be different. Most of my relatives have gone to America or the Philippines. We have all decided to have a low key Christmas. What does low key mean to the Eugenio Family? It means no presents, lots of food, relaxing, naps after huge meals and catching up.
For Kulinarya I decided to do my take on Lechon. Lechon is suckling pig roasted whole and normally served with Lechon sauce. Lechon sauce is made from chicken livers, vinegar, sugar, breadcrumbs, garlic and onions.
The recipe below is for a piece of pork belly. An Australian version of a very traditional Filipino dish during Christmas.
Anna Gare – Fennel and Rosemary Pork Belly
1 big pork belly, about 2 kg (no bones if possible)
8 large cloves of garlic
3 table spoons rosemary chopped
3 table spoons fennel seeds
salt & pepper
Vegetables for roasting belly on
5 sticks of celery
2 brown onions, cut in quarters
Sprigs of rosemary
Preparing the Pork
1. Score pork skin using a very sharp knife
2. Blanch skin side only of belly in frying pan with shallow boiling water
3. Put garlic rosemary, fennel and salt in mortar and pestle and grind to paste- rub over flesh of pork (not on skin)
4. Lay vegetables on a big non stick baking tray and place belly on top skin side up
5. Bake in oven for about 2.5hrs 170 degrees then turn oven up to 250 degrees
6. Salt the skin and cook for a further ½ hour till it crackles up
Watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn and if you are having trouble with it crackling, turn on the grill, but place the pork on mid to low shelf as it burns easily
With the Pork Belly we served some sides. They were a string bean and soy bean salad with an achovie and lemon dressing and a potato salad with dill.
We are in Australia after all so why not a few prawns for the BBQ.. My Aunt also made a grilled salmon with terriyaki sauce.
For the dessert I wanted to attempt to make a Croquembouche. It didn't turn out the way I planned and I also burnt myself pretty bad with the toffee. I was still proud of them, especially since this was the first time I made them.
I hope you all enjoyed this months Kulinarya Cuisine. Have a safe and fun Christmas everyone. Cheers to lots of presents and lots of fantastic food.
If you are interested in joining our Kulinarya Cooking Club, please feel free to leave a comment or drop by the food blogs below and leave a comment there - we would love to hear from you!
I would also like to welcome some new Kulinarya members