You know how sometimes a memory conjures up the urge for a certain type of food? Yesterday, I posted about my best friend Amy’s sister. When I was in college, Amy and I spent alot of time together and she taught me the finer points of Filipino cooking and hooked me on a few dishes in particular. While surfing around yesterday, I came across a foodie blog event requiring the use of several ingredients that oddly enough are also used to make one of my favorite Filipino foods. It seemed like all signs were telling me what I should make for dinner.
Every month The Leftover Queen hosts a Royal Foodie Joust. The Joust is based on using 3 key ingredients, which are selected by the prior month’s winner. This month requires the use of pork, pink/white peppercorns, and citrus. As soon as I saw the ingredients, I knew I would be making adobo.
Adobo is typically made with either chicken or pork, and sometimes a combination of both. The dish is a blend vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic cooked with the meat and seasonings until a dark tangy sauce develops and caramelizes. It is such a great flavor combination that will make your eyes pop and tastebuds dance.
Hopefully, I’ve done Amy proud with the adobo I made last night. I think it was the best I’ve ever made. Her recipe is a visual one (i.e. add enough soy sauce to turn water a medium brown), so I spent some time putting it into recipe form.
Pork Adobo Recipe
2 lbs. pork shoulder
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 cups water
3 garlic cloves crushed Juice from 1 lemon
In a medium pan, add the peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves, soy sauce, vinegar, water, and lemon juice. Cut pork into chunky pieces — I used a pork shoulder roast cut into 2×3′′ strips. Place the pork in the pan and marinate for 15 minutes before turning on the burner.
Turn burner to medium heat and bring pan to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 45 minutes. Keep pan partially covered.
The liquid will reduce to form a sauce on the meat. Keep an eye on the pan toward the end of cooking as the liquid will reduce quickly. I reduce the sauce until it is no longer visible in the pan, but is fully coating the meat. The meat will take on darker color at this point and caramelize in the pan. Serve over steamed rice.
Note: Also good made with chicken thighs!
Adobo is piquant in flavor due to the vinegar and if you’d prefer to remove the edge off the dish you could add a teaspoon of sugar during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Alternatively, I did see several recipes referencing the use of 7-Up as a liquid sweetener. Personally, I love the tang.
Given the Joust requirements, I used a mix of white/pink peppercorns in the marinade but you may use whatever type you have on hand. I had one of those fancy peppercorn blends, so picked out the ones required for the Joust :-) And, my adobo doesn’t normally include lemon, but in researching adobo I discovered some recipes do use this ingredient. I decided to use only the juice for added tang and light citrus flavor. I’m not sure if it was the peppercorns or lemon, but this did turn out to be the best-ever adobo. The ingredients also work amazingly well as a rib marinade before grilling.
Hopefully, Amy will see this post and be proud of me. We live several thousand miles away at this point and haven’t seen each other in … like, 8 years. It’s crazy how time flies and how we all spread out across the globe as we get older.
The shortbread cookies from yesterday are so good. I’m not sure how long they will last – every time I walk through the kitchen I stop and have one. Geggie mentioned she has the best-ever shortbread recipe, straight from Scotland. If I can finagle the recipe out of her, I’ll put it to the test and let you know how it turns out :-)