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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Filipino Pork Adobo

When I was in Maui last year, I was suffering for the first couple of days because the food choices sort of suck. Unless you want to eat fast food, hotel food, or expensive-but-nasty food, you're kind of stuck in Maui.

That was until we discovered a tiny Filipino kitchen attached to the front of a two-story office complex run by a California ex-pat. The lady was awesome...she cooked like it was her home kitchen. The locals she served ate like it was her dining room (even though it was a parking lot sidewalk covered with a checkered tablecloth). It was there that my appreciation for Pork Adobo blossomed.

Back at home, I wanted to experience it in my own kitchen. After reviewing dozens of recipes, I concocted my own. I wanted something I could braise in the oven, but with browning the meat first. Minimal requirements; simple techniques.

Pork Adobo

2-3 pound pork butt or shoulder, cut into 1-1/2 or 2" cubes
5 small white potatoes (not Russet), cubed
1 onion, diced
1 cup vinegar
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
8 cloves garlic, through a press
1 Tbs sugar
salt and pepper

First salt and pepper, then brown the meat with a bit of vegetable oil in a dutch oven, set into a bowl. Add onion and fry up 5 or so minutes, add back in pork and stir up well. Mix your vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, garlic and sugar in a bowl and pour into your pork. Bring to a boil and then move to oven.

Braise for 2 hours. Stir in cubed potatoes and braise another hour.

Remove liquid into a fat separator, then pour back into pork (after removing fat). Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with rice. We had it with macaroni salad in Maui, but I did corn here. It's your call, but you want something fresh on the side.