My Mom took up Home Economics as her first course in college with the full conviction that “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. Though cooking was not her thing, it was for all intents and purposes a strategy to snagging the right man.
To be fair, she did get the man… who just happens to cook better that she does (that’s what she said). After years of marriage and practice, she has passed on to me very important tips and techniques to making reaallly good adobo… crunchy as opposed to soggy yet oily turon… pichi-pichi that’s firm yet chewy…
Add to that a few dishes that I think serve as her signature which I really love. Among those is her Estafadong Baboy or Stewed Pork. It’s really easy to do—almost as simple as adobo, only sweet and made unique because of saging na saba, also referred to as cooking bananas or plantains.
I’m not sure of its origin, but I assume it is a Filipinized version of a Spanish dish. Makes sense that it is a Tagalog dish where saging na saba abound.
Mom prefers it all liempo or pork belly because it gives you a fatty, sticky sauce which is a killer. For this recipe, I toned down the liempo with some kasim or pork shoulder. I like it better when the bananas are over ripe as it makes the sauce sweeter and counters the sour-salty marinade of vinegar and soy sauce. So I’m sharing one of my mom’s signature dishes which is among my childhood favorite.
- ¼ k liempo, cut into cubes
- ¼ k kasim, cut into cubes
- ¼ c soy sauce
- ½ c vinegar
- ½ T whole peppercorns
- 2 laurel leaves, torn into pieces
- 3-4 T sugar
- 6-8 pieces saging na saba/plantains, sliced or whole
- ½ c water
Marinate the pork in soy sauce, vinegar, pepper corns and laurel leaves for thirty minutes.
In a deep pot, put sugar on low heat and let it caramelize. (This is the secret!) When it turns golden, add meat and marinade. Put on cover and turn the heat on high. When it begins to boil, add water and the bananas then turn down the heat to very low. Keep the cover on and let it simmer. Stir once or twice so the banana and sauce really meld together.
Cook until sauce is reduced and pork is tender and fall-of-the-bone.
© 2012, Kitchen Kitchie Koo. All rights reserved.