- SERVINGS: 12
Adobo, the national dish of the Philippines, starts out as a garlicky and tangy stew. The meat is then removed from the casseroles and fried until crisp, and the cooking liquid is reduced to make the richly flavored sauce.
- 12 pounds country-style pork ribs (not the loin), each rib cut in half crosswise above the bones
- 6 cups rice vinegar
- 3 cups soy sauce
- 6 heads of garlic, separated into unpeeled cloves
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 large red bell peppers
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 1/2 cup crushed unsalted peanuts (optional)
- Steamed rice, for serving
- In each of 2 large enameled cast-iron casseroles, combine half of the ribs, vinegar, soy sauce and garlic. Season with pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat, skimming occasionally, until the ribs are cooked through, about 30 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ribs to a platter, leaving the garlic behind. Continue to simmer the cooking liquid in the 2 casseroles until the garlic is tender, about 30 minutes; let cool. Remove the garlic cloves and peel them, then add to the ribs.
- Remove the fat from the cooking liquid. Pour the liquid into a medium saucepan and boil until reduced to 2 cups, about 15 minutes.
- Roast the red peppers directly over a gas flame or under a broiler, turning, until charred all over. Transfer to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 10 minutes to loosen the skins. Peel the peppers, discarding the cores, ribs and seeds; cut the flesh into long thin strips.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add as many of the ribs as will fit without crowding and fry over moderate heat until deeply browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining ribs, adding more oil as needed.
- Add the garlic cloves to the skillet and fry, stirring, until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Arrange the ribs and garlic on a warmed platter. Scatter the peanuts and red pepper strips on top and serve. Pass the reduced cooking liquid and the rice separately.
This spicy menu requires a not-quite-dry white to provide a refreshing flavor background. Among various choices, look for a California Riesling.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.