Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pork Abodo

I may have mentioned that I took a physics class last month. While I really increased my understanding of the laws of kinematics, one of the greatest things to come out of the class ended up being lunchtime. Now, lunch itself wasn't that spectacular (I had a turkey sandwich most every day), but the company was incredible. Not only did several of the teachers take over the conference room, but any professor who happened to be in the department joined us as well. You want to blow your mind, have a discussion about how those guys are trying to get cancer radiation treatments to only burn the bad cells. Wow. Just wow.

We had a two guys from the Philippines, one from Iran and a couple who had lived pretty much everywhere. Food was a pretty common topic. I learned that Iran has "real" olives, most of the world is not freaked out by squid on their plates and balut is a delicacy best tried in the dark (so you don't see what you are eating, seriously, do NOT Google that).

Arthur is from the Philippines and one day, he mentioned what many consider to be the Philippine's national dish:  Pork Abodo. I was one of two people who didn't immediately swoon and discussion ensued as to the proper way to cook this dish. Of course, I was intrigued and so Arthur sent me a website that had what he considered to be a pretty good recipe for Pork Abodo. After getting lost for a couple hours on that site and making a list of all the dishes I want to try, I got around to trying this for our anniversary.

Marinate a 2 pound pork belly in 1 cup of soy sauce and 5 cloves of minced garlic. Now, you probably cannot find pork belly in your grocery store. There is probably some kind of regulation about purchasing that much fat in one checkout line. Arthur insisted that I MUST use pork belly. I'm sorry Arthur, I used pork butt instead.
At the end of marination, brown the pork just a little bit on each side for a few minutes.
Add to a slow cooker along with a cup of water, 5 dried bay leaves and a tablespoon of peppercorns. Cook on low for six hours. The last 15 minutes add in 1/4 cup of vinegar.
This doesn't even need to be sliced. I couldn't get it out of the cooker it was so tender.
Delicious. So, so tender. I was expecting a much stronger flavor than what I got. I am not complaining. The flavor of this was just enough to distinguish it from just plain pork. Perfect.

And did I mention it was tender?

I have been wanting to venture into Asian cooking and this was the perfect way to start. Easy to make and didn't completely take my family by surprise. And I can't wait to make a sandwich out of it for lunch tomorrow.

Click here for Printable Recipe

Pork Adobo
2 Pounds Pork Belly or Pork Butt
2 Cloves Garlic, minced or crushed
5 Dried Bay Leaves
4 Tablespoon Vinegar
1 Cup Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Whole Peppercorn
1 Cup Water
Salt to taste
Combine the pork belly, soy sauce, and garlic and marinade for at least 1 hour. Heat a saucepan and sear the marinated pork belly until browned. Transfer the pork to a large crockpot. Add water, whole pepper corn, and dried bay leaves. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Add in the vinegar and simmer for the last 15 minutes. Add salt to taste. Serve hot.

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