Cooking/ Easter Sunday/ Pork/ Recipes

How To Make Mae’s Lechon

Fragrant Roast Pork Belly as seen on Mary Berry’s Easter Feast on BBC2
Lechon or roasted suckling pig is a national treasure, a delicious and all time favourite dish at gatherings! Stuffed with herbs and spices and cooked over coal on low heat for many hours. Keeping the meat moist inside and the skin nice and crispy.IMG-20171009-WA0003

The whole pig is slowly roasted and constantly turned over the heat. Without the spit, coal and space, I have to make do with Pork belly in my fan-assisted oven!

wpid-screenshot_20160323-111450-01.jpegMae was recently seen on TV with Mary Berry on her 2016 Easter show on BBC2 “Mary Berry’s Easter Feast”.  Mae showed Mary how to make a traditional ‘Lechon’ usually a whole hog spit roasted in charcoal. Mae’s recipe is fit for anyone who are willing to wait for a perfect pork crackling skin with juicy and tasty meat.



Mae's Lechon (fragrant roast pork belly) as seen on Mary Berry's Easter Feast on BBC2

Print Recipe


  • 2.5kg Pork Belly
  • 6 lemon grass stems, crushed whole
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 8 bay leaves, fresh or dried
  • 1/2 bunch of spring onions, keep whole, cleaned and washed
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tsp pepper
  • For the brine
  • 5ltr water
  • 80g salt
  • 20g pepper
  • 2 stems crushed & chopped
  • 1tsp cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 bay leaves, fresh or dried



[Brine] In a deep pan on a high heat bring 1ltr water to boil


Turn the heat to low, add onion, some garlic, chopped lemongrass, 3 bay leaves, salt and pepper with the lid on simmer for 15 minutes


Take the water mixture off the heat put it on the side


In a large container add the rest of the water and the water mixture, wait 10-15 minutes to cool down


Add pork belly into the brine put something heavy on top to keep it underwater, brine overnight


[Roasting] Heat the oven 100c (fan oven, gas mar ½)


Take the pork out of the brine mixture, dry it all completely with kitchen roll


Place pork on a flat surface facing skin down with some kitchen roll underneath


Season with salt and pepper evenly on the meat


Add spring onions, the rest of lemon grass, the rest of the bay leaves, the rest of the garlic and spread evenly across the meat


Tie the pork belly closed with cooking string making sure that it’s tight enough so the fillings do not come out


Place the pork in a tray with a rack, put it in the oven and cook for 6-8 hours on a low heat


Turn the pork around every 1 hour to make sure it cooks evenly


On the last 15-30 minutes turn the heat on high (keep an eye on it as the skin is easily burn at this stage)


Take the pork out and leave it to rest for 5-10 minutes


Transfer it to a serving dish and serve!


* I edited how long to turn the heat high to crisp the skin.

Recipes Straight To You!

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  • Reply
    31/03/2018 at 3:52 am

    Hi Mae, this pork looks amazing and very similar to how we prepare pork in Samoa. I am making a Pacifica themed feast for Easter and have my pork belly in the brine now. Going to serve it with coconut rice, fa’alifu taro, Tongan style potato salad (it’s pink!) and oyster sauce greens. Just wondering if you can extend the amount of time in the brine to 2 nights or will this make the pork too salty?? Either way, hope it turns out as well as yours! I’ll make sure to take photos :)

    • Reply
      25/04/2018 at 10:55 am

      Hi Bella, I hope your lechon turned out well. Your Easter menu sounds amazing. Let me know how it went and how long you brined your pork. Maybe for future reference 3 nights is ok as long as it’s refrigerated. I look forward to seeing your photos =)

  • Reply
    Glamorous Glutton
    26/04/2017 at 4:26 pm

    This looks wonderful. I loved the look of it on Mary Berry, thank you so much for remembering to let me know when you posted it. GG

    • Reply
      18/05/2017 at 7:40 am

      You are welcome! Did you try making it yet?

  • Reply
    Jane Cameron
    24/04/2017 at 4:54 pm

    Watched you make this a couple of weeks ago,and wanted to try and make it.yet to taste it.thank you for sharing your recipe .

  • Reply
    Min Grimshaw
    17/04/2017 at 8:14 pm

    I think you mean 2g pepper, not 20g!

    Made this change. It turned out very well. No need to turn every hour – just the last hour.

    It would be perfect if you could suggest a suitable side or two (I did potatoes roasted with garlic and also spinach).

    • Reply
      18/05/2017 at 7:44 am

      Hiya! Thank you for the type correction. If you have a good oven then there is no need to turn but if your oven doesn’t cook evenly then maybe turning it every couple of hours will do too. Potatoes and spinach is very good but traditionally we eat it with rice (typical) and pickled green papaya or Athara. I have the recipe for atchara too if you want to make some. Again thank you for trying my recipe!

  • Reply
    Stephen Fuller
    17/04/2017 at 5:28 pm

    Made the Lechon Easter Monday…totally amazing Thankyou! Will definitely be doing this again, everyone was very impressed.

    • Reply
      18/05/2017 at 7:45 am

      Hi! I’m glad it turned out well and your family/friends liked it too! Thank you for trying my recipe!

  • Reply
    14/04/2017 at 7:35 pm

    Hi Mae, i am going to cook this on Easter Monday and just saw it on Mary Berry’s Easter feast. Did i hear well: “slow cook in oven 100* Celsius for 6 hours..?”

    It’s the correct oven temperature that i am after


    • Reply
      18/05/2017 at 7:49 am

      Hiya! Apologies for not replying sooner. I hope you did ok with making lechon. 100* is correct and depending on the weight of your pork it could go up to 8hours. You could try 120* if you need it sooner.

  • Reply
    26/03/2016 at 10:02 pm

    Dear Mae,
    I was so impressed with your Lechon on Mary Berry. I have it soaking in the brine at this moment. I will cook it tomorrow for my Eastet celebration lunch. I can’t wait to taste it. Thank you. Michelle
    From Cardiff, South Wales.

    • Reply
      13/04/2016 at 12:18 pm

      Hi Michelle,

      Thank you for watching the show and for giving the recipe a go! I hope it went well and the recipe was easy to follow. We would love to see your Lechon if you had time to take a photo before everyone started eating it! haha!



    • Reply
      15/04/2017 at 11:39 am

      Hi, I am doing the same thing today a year later and after seeing it on Mary Berry’s repeat programme last night!
      Can’t wait.
      Kim – London

      • Reply
        18/05/2017 at 7:45 am

        Hiya! Did you make your lechon? How did it go?

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