Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pork Adobo a la Dong (Adobong Baboy ni Dong)

After sampling the distinct tastes of various international cuisines like the American pure-beef hamburger, the French creamy “chicken liver pate” and the Chinese yummy “shaomai or siomai” dumpling and after having indulged in some select Filipino sweet treats like egg pie and “kamote que”, then I could say we are once again ready for another round of the all-time favorite Filipino dish………… yes you’re right, we are speaking of the relentless “adobo”. Please bear with us on this. Our week will not be complete without enjoying the dish at least once……… or maybe twice. :-)

Like in the past, today’s version of “adobo” is interesting and equally motivating. It is shared by another engineer with strong fascination in cooking…….. Dong, one of my kitchen-talented “inaanak” (wedding godson) regarded as the certified “adobo” expert in our group here in Sri Lanka. He has excellently cooked the dish probably more than any viand he knows combined all together. Statistically, that means many times in a week. But of course it has not yet come to a point of overwhelming for it comprises many variations like using several types of meat such as chicken, pork and even liver and gizzard or combination thereof and doing it in different styles like saucy, oily or dry (“iga”).

Dong’s first meat recipe in this humble blog is his version of the common pork “adobo”. Therefore, unlike in the last three variations namely “adobong puti”, “adobong Batangas” and “adobong manok sa dilaw”, where soy sauce or “toyo” is not among the ingredients, the Chinese condiment will now again assume a major role in this dish preparation. Expect the color to be intense like the usual “adobo” as oppose to the most recent one where it is uniquely pale or whitish. One distinctive characteristics of Dong’s “adobo” is its non-use of the earthy bay leaves. Dong is not much a fan of herbs and intentionally avoids using bay leaf in his cookery, particularly in “adobo”.

To all of you, who follow this blog and those who have stumbled upon this site, let me present the tasty and appealing “Pork Adobo a la Dong”. You may have also known this recipe early on but we still want to share this version with you. After all, it is interesting to learn how different people prepare the most popular Filipino dish ever. It is a proud Filipino tradition in food and we must continuously explore and further develop it.

For the dish, we need about 800 grams or 2 lbs pork cubed to around 1 inch sizes. As usual, this is “adobo” so please use meat with some fat and rind as they will be providing a truly flavorful dish. A combination of belly or “liempo” and shoulder or “kasim” is a personal favorite. Wash the cubed meat several times and then drain them thoroughly in a coriander.

The few other ingredients needed are: 1 head garlic, peeled and minced, 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped, ½ tsp whole peppercorn, ½ tsp freshly ground pepper, 1 tbsp white sugar, about ½ cup + 2 tbsp natural vinegar (please adjust accordingly, depending on the acidity), ½ cup soy sauce and 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut up. Additionally, about 2 tbsp of vegetable oil for sautéing, about 1 cup broth or hot water for simmering and some iodized salt to taste are required.

In a large heavy pan or wok, heat the oil and fry garlic until it is slightly browned. Add in onions and cook until it is translucent. Add in the soy sauce and sauté until it boils. Put all the thoroughly drained meat and mix the ingredients.

Let the meat renders its own juice and fat. Give it a gentle stir and simmer on moderate heat until the liquid is reduced and meat starts to sizzle in its own fat and aromatic.

Add in whole peppercorn, ground pepper, white sugar and vinegar. Do not stir until it is briskly boiling. Continue cooking. Add enough broth to cover and continue simmering on low heat. Adjust the seasoning and level of vinegar. Continue simmering until the sauce is reduced, has thickened and meat is fork tender. Add additional broth or hot water as necessary.

In a small pan, heat some oil and fry the cut up potatoes until lightly browned and cook through. Set aside.

Mix the fried potatoes with the adobo and transfer in serving platters. Serve warm with lots of steamed rice. You can accompany it with some chopped tomatoes or pickled green papaya (“atchara”) for a better combination.

There it is……… “Pork Abodo a la Dong”! Another exciting variation to be added to the long directory of Filipino pork “adobo”. Try it and enjoy! :-)

My “inaanak” Dong along with all of us in the group are extremely happy with our “adobo” lunch the following day. It is another moment when we truly enjoyed our simple office meal. If not for his effort to cook the dish the night before, we would not be as satisfied. More to come Dong! c“,)

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