I just got back from a whirlwind trip. I traveled from the east to the Midwest to the west coast. I was in Chicago for the IACP14 (International Association of Culinary Professionals), one of the largest culinary conferences. I met fellow food writers, authors, chefs, cookbook publishers, food editors, food enthusiasts, big brands in food who all came together to discuss latest industry trends. From there, I flew to San Francisco to visit my son and his fiancee. What a blessing to have the chance to see so many places, connect with friends and enjoy a plethora of food.
Coming home was a welcome respite from the hectic pace. I was so tired I had zero energy to cook. But we needed to eat. There’s something about being on a nonstop 7-day trip of eating in restaurants, airports and bad airline food that makes one yearn for a pot of good old home cooking. I was longing for my Filipino food fix.
So this Pork Adobo with Pineapple was just the thing to fill that longing. It was effortless. I plunked down everything in the slow cooker while I unpacked, vacuumed the house and did laundry. I even had time to check emails, update my Facebook wall and pin on Pinterest.
As I opened the lid of the large pot the steamy vapors hit my face. The garlicky aromas from the simmering tangy broth made my taste buds vibrate . The addition of sweet pineapple slices to the garlic flavored dish to my surprise, was superb. Once the boiled white rice was cooked, dinner was ready. It was good to be home.
Pork Adobo with Pineapple
- 1 Tablespoon sea salt
- 1 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons black pepper corns
- 3 pieces bay leaves
- 8 to 10 pieces peeled, smashed fresh garlic cloves
- 1 cup Heinz is what I use; or use dark Filipino cane vinegar if available - sukang Iloco apple cider vinegar
- 2 1/2 pounds cut in 2-inch cubes pork belly
- 1-2 cups to cover adobo stew when cooking or use water soup stock
- 8-10 pieces fresh or use canned, drained pineapple slices
- 4 to 6 Tablespoons for pan frying adobo vegetable or corn oil
- for serving boiled white rice
- Trim some fat off the pork belly slab. You can either buy the entire piece whole or ask the butcher to cut it in uniform 2-inch cubes for you (like I did).
- Combine in a non reactive bowl the following: vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, salt, black pepper and pepper corns. Pour it over the pork belly. Keep the pork and marinade in a large Ziploc or covered plastic container. Refrigerate 6 hours or overnight.
- The next day (or a few hours after), place the pork, soup stock (or water) and liquid marinade in a large stock pot (or slow cooker) including the garlic, pepper corns, bay leaves. Add more fresh garlic pieces if desired.
- You have 2 options to cook this adobo: first, via a slow cooker, set on HIGH, for 6 to 7 hours. Or 2nd, on the stove top, place the adobo and marinade in a stock pot – cook the stew for about 55 minutes. Cook it first over medium high, then a slow simmer after it boils. Make sure the pork is thoroughly cooked. (I use the slow cooker when I have to leave the house and want dinner ready when I return).
- When the pork adobo is cooked, allow to cool for an hour on the counter top. When it is completely cooled, transfer it to a pyrex (or non reactive container) and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight. This allows the garlic-vinegar flavors to blend well.
- The following day, in a large skillet, over medium high heat, add cooking oil (or pork drippings from adobo if available). Once the oil is hot enough after 2 to 3 minutes, pan fry the pork belly till it sizzles and the outer skin looks crisp (but the insides are soft and tender). Pan fry pork for about 5 minutes. Add the fresh garlic used in the stew, to the sizzling pork belly in the skillet. Drain the pork cubes on parchment paper to remove excess oil.
- In the same skillet, pan fry the pineapple slices for 1 to 2 minutes till it gets brown on the edges. Add the adobo sauce over the pineapple slices and let the liquid come to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Arrange the pork cubes and pineapple on a platter. Pour the adobo sauce over it. Serve with boiled white rice.
- Cook’s comments: In the original recipe’s page, the author Marvin Gapultos mentioned this was a favorite menu offering at his former food truck The Manila Machine in LA and it was a runner-up awardee for ‘Best Noveau Street Food” at the LA Street Food Fest 2010. Thanks for a great recipe, to my food friend, Marvin G. of BurntLumpia.com.