Pork adobo is one of my favorite Filipino dishes and probably the most well recognized. Adobo is a blend of soy sauce and vinegar flavored with garlic, bay leaf, salt and pepper. This simple concoction marinates the meat overnight giving the adobo its unique flavor. Then it’s just a matter of cooking the adobo in the marinade for about an hour to tenderize the meat.
This is how I have cooked adobo for years and will continue to do so. But, today I changed it up a bit…The sauce is still the same, only the cooking method got a little tweak.
My husband was grilling steaks for dinner and I was thinking about the picnic pork I had in the fridge. “I can’t explain what goes on in my head” and thought…”What a waste of a good fire”. Those steaks will be done in no time and all those coals will simply go to waste. So as my husband was getting the coals started I quickly mixed up a batch of adobo sauce and marinated the whole picnic pork.
When the steaks were cooked and resting I placed my pork onto the bbq and put the lid on with the vents open to let the pork smoke. I returned a little later to flip the meat and let it smoke until all the coals were dead.
I sealed the slab of pork in a foil pouch with the marinade and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
The next day I popped it in a 375 degree oven for 2 ½ hours, unwrapped it and shredded the meat as I would pulled pork. It was a delicious new twist on the traditional pork adobo.
The recipe below is for the traditional way of cooking adobo. It can be made with pork or chicken. If using chicken; thighs, drums and wings are the best choice. Also traditionally whole peppercorns are used. I use coarse ground black pepper because I hate accidentally biting into the peppercorns.
3 pounds pork butt, cut into bite size pieces
½ cup white vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce, Kikkoman
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. coarse black pepper
1 whole bay leaf
*I use Kikkoman soy sauce which is a lot stronger than Aloha. If you use Aloha shoyu use equal parts of shoyu to vinegar.
Cut pork into bite size pieces. Mix all the ingredients together and marinate the meat overnight.
Place the meat in a pot and bring to a boil (no browning needed); lower heat and simmer covered for 30 – 45 minutes or until meat is very tender but not falling apart.
Remove lid and turn the heat back up to high and let cook at a boil while stirring for 15 minutes to let the sauce reduce until most of the sauce has evaporated. Serve over white rice.