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When I changed jobs and moved to where I am now, I suddenly discovered blocks of free time during the weekends. So, how best to fill up those hours but with a backyard barbeque! We have a small round grill that serves my little household well, and with a few bags of charcoal on hand, barbeque becomes a lazy way to get lunch on the table.

I like to use a thicker-cut slab of pork belly for barbeque because the meat does not dry out and the porky juices are kept sealed in. I also do not trim away the rib bones, since those are great for the messy, hand-to-mouth munching that is the quintessential charm of eating barbeque. That, and also because I like the cartilaginous part that peels away from the bone.

Hot, juicy pork cuts with a slight crisp to the skin and the smoky, scorched goodness that only direct heat can achieve—what’s better than that on a free weekend?

Pork Belly BBQ

Serves 4

3 slabs 1-inch thick pork belly

4 pcs. calamansi, halved

½ cup good quality light soy sauce

½ tsp. brown sugar

4-5 cloves garlic, smashed then chopped roughly

salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Marinate. Season pork belly on both sides with fresh-cracked black pepper and salt. Smash the cloves of garlic with the broadside of a knife, then peel away the skin. Rub the smashed garlic liberally onto the pork belly. Lay pork belly flat in a square dish and pat down. In a small bowl, mix juice of 4 calamansi, brown sugar, and light soy sauce. Pour mixture over the pork belly, making sure all surfaces are coated. Let stand for at least an hour, turning pork pieces over to marinate evenly.

Grill away. Best to use a charcoal grill, as this lends a smoky taste to the meat. Grill 2-3 inches off the coals, being careful not to burn the pork belly in those fat-fueled flare ups. Baste a few times with the remaining marinade. When the bellies are brown on one side, turn over and keep grilling until done. Transfer the bellies to a chopping block and do some quick cuts. I like to separate the ribs and keep them whole, for better munching. Serve immediately.