Today I felt nostalgic and I missed mom a lot. I missed the dishes she often cooked. This is what led me to make the classic Filipino Nilagang Baboy – a Pork Stew with Vegetables. Mother’s Day brings a rush of memories of my mom and dad, more than the usual. It also reminds me of my years as a mother—cooking and caring for my children the only way I knew how, through food I learned how to cook from my mother.
Thinking about nostalgia in food, I recently wrote an article on Filipino Chef Jam Melchor, a rising star in the International Slow Food movement. This piece published last week on Positively Filipino, a premiere online magazine based in San Francisco.
I’m with Chef Jam Melchor to bring back nostalgia in food – especially Filipino food, the way our mothers and grandmothers taught us. Every dish was cooked with basic tried and true methods in the kitchen. And there was always beauty in its simplicity. This pork stew is a good example. Back in my childhood days in the Philippines, I remember our kitchen in Tarlac. I can still see a large cauldron of this bubbling and boiling pork stew, with the combined aromas of fresh ginger, salty patis (fish sauce) flavoring the tender meat cubes and fresh greens my dad grew in our backyard and farm.
Like I wrote in my article: “Nostalgia is a feel-good crowd pleaser. Slow cooking methods give us the feeling of trust, speaks of longevity, of a timeless ritual, and will always be relevant.” So true. Nothing else is as heartwarming as a big bowl of this pork stew with vegetables to nourish my spirit and my heart.
Nilagang Baboy - Pork Stew with Vegetables
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic peeled, minced
- 1 whole white or yellow onion chopped
- 1 knob fresh ginger about 1 inch, peeled, sliced
- 2 stalks scallions or green onions chopped, use whites for saute, greens for garnish
- 1 Tablespoon patis Filipino fish sauce
- 1 pound pork belly or pork shoulder boneless, cut into 2-inch cubes
- 6 to 8 cups organic chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 whole tomatoes quartered
- 2 whole potatoes peeled, quartered
- 1 whole carrot peeled, sliced
- 1 cup sliced green beans cut into 2-inch length pieces
- 1 bundle bok choy sliced into 2-inch shreds (Chinese cabbage)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- for serving boiled rice
- In a large stock pot, over medium high heat, add the vegetable oil. Saute the onions, garlic, ginger and scallions.
- Add the fish sauce. Then add the pork cubes. Brown the pork for about five minutes to seal in the flavors.
- Pour in the broth. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a slow simmer. Cook till pork cubes are tender, for about 40 minutes. Add the tomatoes, potatoes and carrots at the last 10 minutes of cooking.
- Add the green beans and bok choy in the last 5 minutes of cooking. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.
- COOK’S COMMENTS : Feel free to add any vegetables preferred for this pork stew. To cook this in a slow cooker: Boil the pork cubes in the broth and seasonings for 4 hours, using a "high setting". Add the potatoes and vegetables when it's nearly time for supper. To cook this in an Instant Pot: Click Saute function. Add oil. Saute garlic, onions, ginger, patis and scallions. Brown the pork cubes for 1 to 2 minutes. Click Cancel to turn off Saute. Pour the broth. Add potatoes and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Cover lid. Set valve to Sealing. Use High Pressure for 30 minutes. When buzzer sounds, do a Quick Release. Open lid. Add the tomatoes and greens and click Keep Warm for 5 minutes for the greens to cook. Click Cancel to turn off.
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Did you love this recipe? I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot. Buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
Disclosure: Instant Pot is the brand name of a multi-cooker that cooks in high and low pressure. I was not paid by the Instant Pot company to mention the product or brand nor endorse it. This is not an ad. My views and opinions are my own.