A dish defined as eclectic, heterogenous, varied, the Filipino Adobo is full of surprises! Hailed as a national dish, I see it as the most diverse national dish that doesn’t have one strict rule or recipe on how to cook it. Go north and you’ll find ‘puting’ Adobo cooked without soy sauce, travel to Bicol and their take will most probably have ‘gata’ or down South and relish sweet Adobo. The creativity is endless!
My 3-year old son Dylan is in love with this dish!
Dylan: I don’t feel well.
Me: Aww… How can mom help, dahling?
Dylan: I want adobo!
Inspired by the lack of time, I created a family staple, the Adoboy. A shortened word for Adobong baboy. Cooked in a slow cooker, I make big batches. We store it and reheat and recreate it to be eaten with steamed red rice or as carnitas (means “little meats,” are a type of braised or roasted pork in Mexican cuisine.)
My secret? Three things: pork or chicken stock, oyster sauce and searing the meat that’s lightly coated with flour just like how Julia Child cooks her Boeuf Bourguignon. The result? The meat’s deep brown color and intact juices because of the searing coupled with that rich flavor of the sauce thanks to the slow cooking and the stock and oyster sauce.
1 1/2 kilo pork kasim or pork shoulder (I prefer using this part of the pork because it has less fat), cut in 2 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup of seasoned (salt & pepper) flour
1 head of garlic, peeled and crushed
3-5 pcs. dried laurel leaves
1 cup pork or chicken stock
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp oyster sauce
ground pepper to taste
Step 1: Cut the pork into 2 1/2-inch cubes and dry the meat well.
Step 2: Lightly coat the meat with seasoned flour.
Tip: Do not coat the meat heavily with flour. By doing so, it will make your sauce lumpy.
Step 3: Using a heavy pan, heat the oil and sear the meat on both sides. You don’t have to cook the pork all the way through, all you want is to brown the meat.
This is the time to also preheat the slow cooker. Set it it on High.
Tip: Make sure that the pan is smoking hot and the pork is dry before you start cooking the meat.
Step 4: Add the chicken stock, soy sauce, vinegar and oyster sauce to the slow cooker.
The chicken stock adds flavor to the sauce and the oyster gives depth to the flavor and helps thicken the sauce.
Step 5: Add the seared pork to the sauce in the slow cooker
Step 6: Add the garlic, dried bay leaves and ground pepper
Step 7: Make sure that the slow cooker is set on High and cook for 4 hours. Turn it off after as the meat will continue to cook because of the hot pot. If set in Low, cook for 6-7 hours.
No slow cooker? You can use a heavy pot with cover or a Dutch oven and cook it on the stove top on Low heat for 3-4 hours.
Tip: Don’t cook the Adoboy on the slow cooker for more than 5 hours (High setting) as it will dry the meat. You can also stir the pot once after 2 hours but it’s not necessary.
Step 8: Close your eyes and take a whiff of the goodness. Try the meat immediately and let it melt in your mouth. I promise you that it will be a religious experience and you can thank me in your prayers after. LOL
You can serve this immediately on top of red or brown rice or you can fillet the meat and make tacos or carnitas and add some Pico de Gallo Salsa. Boom!
The Adoboy is food elegance in one pot.
Shoppingero/shoppingera, happy cooking!