I recently went to my first ever wedding this fall 2013. It completely surpassed my expectations in every way and I felt as though I were taking part in a wedding that you would only see concluding a sappy rom com. The bride (author of The Daily Stranger) and groom, their family, friends, everything was picture-perfect. The groom’s family had even written a song about the newly weds’ first date and sung it at the alter, which almost had me in the fetal position on the ground in a fit of tears. Then I remembered that I was in public and not watching this on my computer in bed, so I struggled to keep my composure. I still can’t get the damn words or their damn beautiful voices out of my head, months later.
The food was incredible. We had the choice of a traditional Filipino pork adobo or a vegetarian stuffed pepper. I opted for the adobo, as I had never tried it before and the saucy, salty, vinegary description appealed to me in a big way.
I found myself day-dreaming and salivating until my mouth hurt over this dish months later, so I did some research, looked up a few recipes, and decided to test a recipe out on some friends I had over at mine one evening. I made a couple of adjustments to the original dish I remember having to make it a bit heavier and to make it go a bit further. The magical thing about stews is that they only taste better the next day.
- 2 lbs boneless pork shoulder or tenderloin, cut into cubes
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 2-3 medium yellow potatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 large handfuls of green beans, ends cut and broken into halves
- 2 red chili peppers, finely chopped
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
- 1.5 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup soy sauce
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 tsp paprika
- 3/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
- Salt and ground pepper
Heat oil in large pot over medium-high. Season pork with salt and pepper and brown on all sides, working in batches to avoid crowding the pot. Add oil as needed in between the batches. Once pork is browned on all sides, remove from the pot and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium-low and add onions. Cook for 5-10 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic, chili peppers, bay leaves, paprika, turmeric, peppercorns and stir for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Stir in the potatoes and cook for another 5 minutes.
Add the chicken stock, vinegar, soy sauce, pork, deglaze the pot, and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. After 1 hour, or when potatoes are tender, stir in the green beans, cover, and cook for another 15 minutes.
Serve over carb of choice. I prefer jasmine rice or vermicelli noodles.
*Note: I did try this recipe out as vegetarian the following week, with tofu and vegetable stock in place of the pork and chicken stock. While the flavours were not as big as the original recipe, it was still delicious. I would still recommend it with the vegetarian substitutions and perhaps subbing in something with a bit more flavour than green beans, such as green pepper.