Lomo en Adobo (Marinated Pork)

I just finished reading a book and would have wanted to start with one  if I had another. Unfortunately, I didn’t pass by the nearest Indigo and BMV bookstores and missed the entire thought process of even reading something imaginable and to my liking. It’s a Saturday, and it’s extremely ‘unsettled’ outside (you’re not alone, Iska). Unsettled in this part of the world means that weather outside is  cold, wet, and damp, and at some point during the day, can turn tropically mild (sun shining and smiling); all in a span of 24 hours. I keep myself indoors during this season.  I’m done with my grocery for the next two weeks, and laundry has been pressed (by hand) and folded.

I’m stuck in my apartment watching news and reruns, and to a certain extent found myself cornered with really nothing more productive to do-crap. I can’t even train my Tai Chi as much as the mental and physical sectors of my brain and the somehow exhausted and bruised body of mine have been longing to have for months. I’ve trained a couple of times upon arrival, but I know my training has not hit the core yet. I need more serious, meditative training which I feel I might have lost during the trip (too much beer & fatty goodness).   This sense of peace and quiet seldom occurs in a city that thrives on work or work related activities; a juggernaut of targets, goals, achievements and sometimes greed.  This is an absolute abnormality (in my case) which is precedence to the winter coming.  I haven’t really set my goals for the next year (except maybe for another set of travel journeys), but workwise, I’m still in a loophole and one way or another, something, at least, more meaningfully striking and significant (not just meaningful)  will occur soon or remain static again for another couple of years.  These interluding moments and thoughts which I have yearned for years is singing to me tunes within and probably I do need this; after all the turbulence that shook me in 2010 and 2011.  I just have to go with the tide, go with the flow; hopefully some ‘Kuya Germs’ will take me under his wing for recording a memento of fact/fiction comedy (had too much of him in one Pinoy party, way too much it was severe).

Anyway, the kitchen has become my second recourse next to the television (I need my book!).   So far, I’ve made some meals which totally struck me just the same.  Pork has become my canvass of choice with the recent E-coli scare of beef products from a major supplier in the West. And, I won’t have Veal and vegetables until I make some meatballs maybe late next week and for the next set of meals thereafter. I missed those NZ lambs though, but I think I won’t have them again until the holidays.    I’ve portioned huge pork cuts for each day I may be stuck in my apartment waiting for work to call, and bought some interesting offal which I’d like to try with a few other ingredients.  However, for this particular blog, I won’t touch on those yet.  I’ve entered the Adobo sanctuary again; very similar to Jet Li’s steadfast fist against Japanese warriors when he entered and pulverized them in their own Dojo (just amazing speed!).  I’ve checked the meaning of Adobo, twice, and saw that it’s a mixture or combination of chilies, vinegar and herbs.  This recipe is Lomo en Adobo, and by far, is comprised of those three major ingredients (of being an Adobo); whatever nationality that Adobo may wear.

I enjoyed making as much as eating this dish. I marinated the porkloin for three days (yes, three days) before grilling and roasting it to medium. It just came out perfect for table service presentations as done by many, and a variety of sauces can be matched with the pork. I used the drippings from the roast as the ‘Adobo’ sauce itself. Other sauces can be mixed and matched with this pork loin; accentuating what the meat or what the cook would have wanted to partake. Three days was already a very long-wait, and I already wanted a taste of this ‘Adobo.’

Marinade:

  • Boneless Pork loin
  • Olive Oil
  • White Wine/Balsamic Vinegar
  • Dried Oregano (used Mexican)
  • Pimiento Picante
  • Cumin
  • Sea Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • Garlic, minced
  • Spanish onion, minced

Set the stovetop at low and allow the olive oil, garlic, onion and oregano to release all their flavours. Add the vinegar, pimiento picante, and cumin and stir slowly until the vinegary smell disappears.   Season with salt and pepper, and set aside to cool.

Pour the marinade into a bowl together with the porkloin. Cover and leave it in the fridge overnight or longer.  Remove the pork loin from the fridge and leave it at room temperature before grilling.

Season the grill or grill pan with oil and mark the porkloin with grill marks. Shove the entire porkloin in a 325’C pre-heated oven to desired doneness. Baste with the marinade every now and then.  Tent and let it rest for five to ten minutes before slicing.

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Crispy Pork in Adobo Sauce (Adobong Baboy)

Cooking something very familiar  is probably the hardest to duplicate. I’ve had had the chance to rise to the challenge by friends of cooking the unfamiliar and the unknown, and making a fantastic dish out of it as against something that is as common or as popular to many: The Adobo (particularly to Pinoys). There are just various and countless ways and interpretations of presenting this dish.

I’ve also had had some gruesome stories about eating Adobo in the past, and Iska can attest to these epic adventures of mine growing up as a child.  When I decided to finally cook one, I made something that was more Mexican (Beef Adobo) than Filipino; combining and incorporating, Mexican Oregano and Spice, and Chipotle Chili Peppers into the sauce. For this blog, my original intention was to keep the Filipino ‘Adobo’ as traditional as possible.

I haven’t really eaten Adobo for so many years now, and for this basic reason, I never knew the process can be that difficult considering I grew up eating Adobo almost all my life (almost on a daily basis); and actually, avoiding it decades after.  My first condition though before even starting it was to disregard the braising and marinating steps as traditionally done by many. That was the popular way and my style really doesn’t lean toward that.  I wanted mine to be more of a starter or an appetizer. Moreover, after discovering sweet rice flour,  a crispy and crunchy Adobo like Lechon Kawali [while using the same cut as the Pork Butt (love the fat), and keeping the same,  familiar dark, and salty sauce ] would definitely make it stand out.

There must be another way to present Adobo besides those ‘turo-turo’ versions and it has been proven by many who have gone into Adobo pains; myself included.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 lb Pork Butt
  • Brown Sugar
  • Red Onions
  • Thai Chilis
  • Finger Peppers
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Adobo All Purpose  Seasoning
  • Sweet Rice Flour
  • Cinnamon Stick
  • Black Peppercorns
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • Filipino Soy Sauce
  • Light Soy Sauce
  • Beer
  • Cane Vinegar

Trim a thin layer of fat from the butt and slice into about 1/2 an inch against the grain.

Prepare a sauce pan filled with oil enough to cover the meat for poaching.  Put the stovetop to low and slowly set the slices into the oil together with the following: Garlic, Red Onions, Thai Chilis, Finger Peppers, Cinnamon Stick, and Black Peppercorns.

Strain the oil for next use. Save the Garlic, Finger Peppers, and Thai Chilis for garnish.

While the pork cooks, combine the rice flour and Adobo seasoning in a bowl for dredging. Remove the pork slices from the poaching liquid and thoroughly coat each one in a bowl.  Set aside and put in the fridge for a good half an hour.

Pan-fry or deep-fry the pork until golden, and shove it in a 325’C oven to cook further. Meanwhile, prepare the Adobo sauce.

Saute the Red Onion and Garlic with the strained oil from poaching, and start adding in the sauces, the cane vinegar, brown sugar, and the beer; adjusting the taste accordingly. Strain in a separate sauce pan thereafer.

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