Thursday, December 11, 2014

Pepita's Truffle Lechon for Papa's Birthday

Papa's favorite food is lechon (Roast Pig), and in our family, when it's your birthday, you get to choose where to eat, or what you want to eat (or have my mom cook) if you prefer to have a small party at home, so for Papa's birthday, we ALWAYS have lechon.

Unfortunately, I am really not a lechon fan. Even if the skin is crisp, I still think it's just fatty and tasteless, with the meat equally so, especially for the lechon I grew up with cooked the Manila way (lining the street approaching Chinese General Hospital).

This is what Papa's birthday lechon normallhy looks like. It comes with
dinuguan (which I like better than lechon) and I don't like dinuguan a lot.

It's a good thing recently, there has been a proliferation of Cebu lechon (which I like especially when it's spicy) in different forms. I've actually slowly been introducing my dad to them, in hopes of tweaking his menu choice. 

I've brought home whole pigs from Cebu, stuffed with chilli
to introduce my dad to Rico's.
And I've asked my friend Mykee to bring home Spicy Lechon Belly
for me, to remind them again how good Cebu lechon is...

But I don't think it really worked because close to a month before my dad's birthday, I asked him excitedly, "So what are we having for your birthday this year?" his answer was, "lechon of course! we'll just order it from the usual place."

Uhmmmm... this was the point where the angel and devil was clearly arguing in my mind... let my dad have what he wants, because it is clearly his birthday, or meddle, which I am really good at, so it's not always a bad thing. Of course, meddle won. I offered the parents a simple solution. I told them to just give me their lechon budget, and I'd order what I wanted the family to try, and us siblings would top it up to pay for the difference. (Yes, we all don't like normal lechon, and Yes, I'm kuripot that way!) 

Since my dad's birthday was on a Sunday, he asked us to brunch instead,
so we could save our stomach space for dinner.
We ate at Rustic Mornings, one of my favorite brunch places in Marikina,
which you can read about here

So back to my dad's dinner, I have always wanted to order Pepita's Truffle Rice Stuffed Lechon, but it's quite pricey at Php8,500 for no special occassion so I was reqally glad when I convinced our family to have it for my dad's birthday. In my excitement, I ordered a month or so in advance to make sure we reserved a pig, especially because my dad's birthday falls around the Christmas Party season.

I just called the number on Pepita's facebook page, then they asked me to sms my order details so they'd have it on record. Then they just told me to pay before hand and bring the deposit slip when I picked up the food, or to email it if it's a screenshot confirmation.

Things got a bit stressful because I was in HK until the day before the party with no phone, and a typhoon was approaching the Philippines so I had no idea if our truffle lechon would get cancelled or not. I emailed them again, and Dedet (the email address owner) just told me if I was worried about the typhoon, I could cancel my order until 6pm the day before which I really appreciated, but I reassured her that we just wanted to confirm that we had our truffle lechon for dinner.

Luckily, the typhoon spared Manila so my dad's birthday dinner went on as planned. The pick up point for the lechon is at the parking lot of Max's behind Shell Magallanes. The first thing my dad said when they got home is "I think your lechon supplier is dodgy. We picked up the pig from another car... just like from a drug pusher".

Bonjour French Pig, so nice to meet you!
You can already smell the truffle, without cutting the pig open.
Pa's annual birthday picture with guests before we eat.
Thank you so much Pa for letting me meddle.
Please let me order the lechon for your birthday every year.
With Mama...
and with Fi.
*Please excuse the blurry pictures, we were really hungry so I lowered my standards and did not ask yaya to retake them. Remember, last meal was brunch!
With the normal lechon, it normally gets brought back
out to the kitchen to be chopped after the photo op.
But this pig, is manageable for table serving.
The skin was so crispy!!!
The layer of pork was so thin, everything was melt in your mouth and really
The best thing for me is you hardly see any fat, and we all know, the best
philosophy is what you can't see can't harm you, so you can eat loads
without the guilt.

The lechon went really, really well with the truffle rice stuffing! Super yummy. There was just 12 of us, and we finished all the rice stuffing. There was probably a serving for less than 1 person, which our helpers were able to taste. (Note to self: next time ask if we can order Truffle Rice on the side)

My mom also prepared other dishes for our other guests. We ordered Pancit Malabon (not pictured) for long life.
Chicken ala King
Prawns in Coconut Curry Sauce
 But I didn't really touch any of the other food. Three servings of truffle lechon was enough for me!

I didn't realize we had a lot of lechon leftovers which they served 2 nights
after, which yaya just heated in the toaster oven.
While the lechon skin wasn't crispy any more, it was still so tender and flavorful. In fact, the whole house smelled like truffle when it was being heated.

Pepita also has other kinds of lechon stuffing.
Just call them to inquire.
The whole family was very happy with Pepita's Truffle Rice Stuffed Lechon. I think from now on, this will be our staple for Papa's birthday lechon, even if it means I have to meddle again. just saying.

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