Each January since 2010, I make a batch of Pork Adobo to commemorate my visit to the Philippines. This is a perfect item to cook in a Dutch oven. The dish, Adobo is a remnant from when the Spanish ruled the seas and the Philippines were colonized by the European power. There are a few subtle modifications to the list of ingredients that are different from a traditional Adobo recipe. These ingredients add a distinctly Asia accent. they are; rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, cinnamon and soy sauce. The addition of theses ingredients change the character of the dish to give the impression that it is a a creation of the Orient. This method of making Adobo was taught to me by David’s Wasson’s girlfriend in Tagum City, Mindanao. I understand that it is a little different from what is considered “traditional”, because she says not to marinate the pork in the vinegar. I agree that this method prevents the meat from getting too dry.
Start with 3 pounds of fresh pork, cut in 2 inch cubes. I use pork shoulder, but a fresh belly is also very good for this.
Season the meat with salt and plenty of black pepper and a coating of cinnamon.
Season the cooking oil with a bit of sesame oil and sear the meat well.
Add; 1 large onion diced and 9 cloves of garlic (if you like a spicier Adobo you can add a fresh hot pepper to the onions and garlic) crushed and chopped fine, to the browned meat add 2 bay leaf. When the onions are golden brown, de-glaze the pan with 1 cup of rice vinegar. Be sure to scrape the fond from the bottom of the pan. Add 3/4 cup of soy sauce and enough water or stock to cover the meat and then, cover the Dutch oven and place in a hot oven for 45 minutes.
Serve the meat and broth over rice, garnished with freshly sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds. A roasted sweet potato is a nice accompaniment. Traditionally, in the Spanish speaking world, Adobo would be served with a flour tortilla. Adobo is frequently made using chicken. Either way it is quick and easy to prepare. This meal goes well with a salad and beer.