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Pork Adobo
© Fernando Bengoechea

Pork Adobo

  • SERVINGS: 12
  • MAKE-AHEAD

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.

  1. 12 pounds country-style pork ribs (not the loin), each rib cut in half crosswise above the bones
  2. 6 cups rice vinegar
  3. 3 cups soy sauce
  4. 6 heads of garlic, separated into unpeeled cloves
  5. Freshly ground pepper
  6. 2 large red bell peppers
  7. Vegetable oil, for frying
  8. 1/2 cup crushed unsalted peanuts (optional)
  9. Steamed rice, for serving
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Remove the fat from the cooking liquid. Pour the liquid into a medium saucepan and boil until reduced to 2 cups, about 15 minutes.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
Make Ahead The adobo can be prepared through Step 2 up to 2 days ahead; refrigerate the liquid and ribs separately.

Suggested Pairing

This spicy menu requires a not-quite-dry white to provide a refreshing flavor background. Among various choices, look for a California Riesling.