What better recipe to follow a post on pig history than one that uses pork—this one from the Philippines.
The Philippines were once part of the great trading empire that Spain established after the discovery of the New World. It is the Spanish legacy that makes the islands of the Philippines something of an anomaly in Southeast Asia. In the Philippines, the cuisine and culture both were influenced as much by Spain as by India, Malaysia, and China. Hence, in Manila, you can get egg rolls with your arroz con pollo.
The national dish of the Philippines is a “stew” called adobo. Originally made with pork alone, it is now increasingly made with pork and chicken, or even with chicken alone. Adobos are Spanish in origin, and, though they have largely disappeared in Spain, they can still be found in Spain’s former colonies, altered in each to suit local tastes and available produce. Whatever the regional differences, the elements that all adobos have in common are garlic, salt, and something acidic.
One of the nice things about adobo is its resilience—it can be refrigerated or frozen, and then reheated and served. In fact, it may be even better reheated, since the flavors seem to become more complex and inviting over time. This is a wonderfully flavorful dish, with a rich, slightly sweet-sour taste.
4 Tbs. vegetable oil
3 lb. lean, deboned pork, cut into cubes
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup sherry
1 cup chicken broth
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Put the oil in a large casserole or Dutch oven and place over medium heat. Put the pork pieces in the pan and cook for 10 minutes, turning frequently, so that pork pieces brown on all sides. Add the water, cover the pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes. When done, remove pork to a plate.
Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sherry, chicken broth, minced garlic, and black pepper to the liquid in the pot. Stir to combine, and cook for 1 minute over low heat. Remove from burner, and return pork pieces to pot, stirring to make sure all pieces are bathed in sauce.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover the pot and place in oven to cook for 1 hour. If any of the pork is “sticking out” of the sauce, you may want to stir the adobo once or twice during cooking, to make sure everything has ample opportunity for exposure to the juice. Remove from oven, and skim off excess oil/fat, if necessary. Spoon pork and sauce over white rice, and enjoy. Serves 6–8.
©2008 Cynthia Clampitt