It was the day of the Christmas party in the mid-1980s. I woke up to the sound of screaming pigs that morning and later learned that two whole pigs were slaughtered for the evening’s feast. The crime happened in the backyard and went on the entire day, a pit of red coals roasting two pigs turning on bamboo spits until they reached a red and golden color.
Later on it was decided that buying a whole roasted pig (lechon, in Tagalog) was far more convenient and economical than hiring a manglilitson (lechon maker). Either way the morning resulted in a surplus of meat and skin to be made into a stew called Lechon Paksiw.
“Paksiw” in itself is a term denoting a stew with vinegar. Used also for fish, it is designed to prolong the shelf life of food because the acid in the dish prevented bacteria from growing. Just like in adobo, which my family packed on many a beach trip because it kept well.
I was able to scam a roasted pig‘s head and some meat pieces from a recent Sopressata Making Class and we decided to make another favorite stew. To me the taste of lechon paksiw reminds only of mornings-after where a stew would be eaten for many days to come, reliving the original roast and the happy occasion. (Incidentally, we’ve made paksiw with leftover crispy pata or lechon kawali pieces.)
Served with rice and greens.
Rosario’s Lechon Paksiw