Lechon Pugon is one of my favorite dishes to serve during parties and special events. It is also one of the most requested dishes of my friends when they come here in Pampanga.
From my own knowledge, pugon is the traditional brick oven used by old bakeries to make their bread. In the Philippines, it is also used to roast meats such as pork, beef and chicken for additional profits since many people have acknowledged the benefits of an oven roasted meat. So far, here are the reasons I know why people love lechon sa pugon:
- the skin is crunchier than regular lechon
- it is less greasy than regular lechon
- it seems healthier to eat than regular lechon (though I guess it’s a perfect excuse to eat all that crunchy skin)
We are regular customers of Lapid’s Bakery in Guagua, Pampanga for cooking our lechon pork belly in pugon. Usually, we will inform the day before our suki (favorite seller) for pork that we will get 5 or more kilos of pork belly for roasting in the pugon. We usually get our meat from the nearby Guagua public market. Some meat sellers in Guagua also sell delicious lechon liver sauce like our suki.
In one occasion, our suki told us that she reserved a male’s belly for us because it is more tender than a female’s. She said it’s much better for an oven roasted pork belly.
So here’s the simple process of having a lechon sa pugon for our party. Once we get to my suki’s meat stall, she will then get from us a big sachet of Magic Sarap or sachet of rock salt and MSG. She will then season the meat before we bring it to the Lapid’s. We usually need a strong fellow to carry the meat for us especially if it’s more than 10 kilos.
The bakery’s pugon is opened at 7 AM and all roasted meats could be picked up at 11 AM. The cost of roasting is around 30 pesos per kilo for pork. The price varies on the type of meat. However, during fiestas or even on regular weekends, there are many customers who come to have their meats roasted inside the pugon and, if you come in a little late, they can no longer accommodate your request. So, we usually wait with other early birds for its opening or else we won’t have our lechon for the day.
Credits to the owner of the picture of Lapid’s Bakery’s pugon
So, if you’re having a simple or big party, you can add a lechon baboy sa pugon (oven roasted pork) in your menu. It’s easy to prepare and serve. You can check in your place if there are bakeries with pugon that accept roasting services for meats.
Here’s another good read for more Kapampangan cuisines.