Friday, 27 June 2014

Pork Adobo

There are basically as many recipes for Philippine adobo it seems as there are cooks of it.

This should actually, for authenticity, be made with palm or coconut vinegar but I couldn’t think where to get some without a special trip to an Asian supermarket so I went with a mix of cider vinegar and white rice vinegar instead. Decent substitutes I trust: I’d seen both used in other recipes online. What I did do was to use a little coconut oil in the frying off of the pork stage as a compromise.

Mine looks ridiculously dark (and that does not a good photo make) - presumably as I’d taken took someone’s (a blogger’s) advice of using dark soy which apparently is closer to Filipino soy than regular. Whether or not that is the case I don’t know but as we already have about 6 different types of soy I thought the bf would balk at the addition of even one more (and a special trip to Chinatown would have been necessary for that also).

Although very tasty I wasn’t 100% happy with this so I will be trying it again and probably tweaking slightly and maybe trying chicken until I’m happy with it. Naturally I’ll report back.

Be aware that this recipe needs to be started ahead of time as it needs to sit overnight.

Pork Adobo
serves 3-4 with rice

550g pork belly slices cut into 1” pieces
45ml cider vinegar
45ml white rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp water
6 garlic cloves, left whole & unpeeled but slightly bashed
1-1½ tsp black peppercorns
few grinds freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp coconut oil

Place the pork, vinegars, soy sauce, peppercorns, ground pepper, garlic, and bay leaf in heavy based casserole and toss to combine. Cover and set aside to marinate for at least 30 mins.

Place the pot over a medium high heat & add 120ml water. Bring to a boil.

Skim the foam that rises to the surface, and then reduce to a simmer. Leave to bubble gently uncovered and without stirring for about 20 minutes to allow the vinegar’s acid to cook and mellow. You’lI know when this has happened as it won’t smell as sharp.

At this point turn the heat down to very low, cover and cook until the pork is very tender, about 1 ½ hours.

Check every now and again to ensure that the liquid does not dry up: if it seems like it might just top up with more liquid. In any case taste the sauce after about an hour and if it is too salty or sharp add a little more water.

When the pork is meltingly tender you can, if you like (I did) mash some of the garlic cloves into the sauce.

At this point you need to cool and then pop in the fridge overnight.

The next day bring back to room temperature and then pour the pork into a colander set over a medium bowl: discard the bay leaf, and set the pork and garlic aside.

Return the sauce to the pot and cook over a medium heat until it is reduced to about 100ml (6-7 tbsp). Transfer the sauce to a bowl and set aside.

In the same pot over a medium-high heat add the oil and when hot add the pork and brown all over. This will take about 10 minutes.

Add the reserved garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for a couple of minutes until the garlic is lightly browned. Stir the sauce back into pot and reduce the heat to medium-low, simmering for about 5 minutes to allow the flavours to meld.

Serve in bowls over Jasmine rice.

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