by: Dwight Simon
The Philippines and Mexico were both Spanish colonies for hundreds of years. As a result, both cultures share a lot of similarities, and one of the biggest ones is our love for pork! From Adobong baby to carnitas and a shared love of Lechon, there is never a shortage of pork dishes as a Filipino or Mexican party. They even have their own version of Adobo! What they do is quite different from their Filipino friends. It is strictly a preservation technique that employs several different spices, with paprika being the most prevalent. A very popular way to preserve jalapeño peppers is to smoke them, put them in a jar and cover them with Adobo sauce. It is called chipotles chiles en adobo.
To celebrate our shared struggles and the similarities that come with it, this issue’s recipe will combine our garlic and soy version of Adobo with the fiery Mexican version. I will then turn it into carnitas, which is a pork shoulder cooked low and slow in lard until it falls apart and then pan seared until crispy. And then we will wrap it in a delicious tortilla and make some tacos!
3 lb portion of raw pork shoulder, bone in (this cut goes by pork shoulder roast or blade roast)
6 cloves garlic
Handful whole peppercorns
3 bay leaves
Splash chili vinegar
Dark soy sauce to taste
1 can chipotles chiles en adobo
1 ripe mango, peeled and diced finely
1/2 bunch green onion, finely chopped
2 cups ripe cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 jalapeños, de-seeded and diced finely
Juice of 1 lime
Olive oil to taste
Let’s start with the start of the show, the pork! Cut most of the meat off the bone. Leave them in big chunks. It does not have to be perfect, and if you leave some meat on the bone, it’s all good! Cut the rest of the meat into even, medium-sized chunks. Put the cut meat and bone into a heavy-bottomed pot. Add garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, vinegar and soy sauce. Cover with water and simmer until meat is falling apart and water has evaporated. All that should be the fat that rendered out of the meat. Set aside and let cool
Put all the salsa ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Open your can of chipotles en adobo and chop them finely. Put into a bowl and set aside.
Take your cooked adobo out of the pot. Discard the bay leaves and peppercorns. Heat up a cast iron pan on the stove over medium-high heat.
Heat up an additional pan to a low-medium. The pan on low heat will be used to heat your tortillas. The goal here is to beat them through and not to add colour to them. They will be slightly brittle when cold and will be nice and flexible when warm. Stack your warm tortillas on a warm plate and cover with a kitchen towel
In the hot cast iron pan, sear off your adobo in the fat you reserved from the pot earlier. When you get a beautiful golden-brown color and crispy crust, add your chopped chipotles chiles en adobo sauce. Toss in the pan and make sure all your meat is covered in sauce. That adobo sauce burns easily to continue cooking until meat is covered and the sauce is heated through.
Now assemble your tacos starting with two warm tortillas, a portion of adobo and top it off with a little mango salsa. Eat on the bench with some cold cervezas for the win!!
About the author
Dwight Simon is a food enthusiast and a blogger. He is also an ace photographer in Vancouver and a nurse in profession. You can reach him at 604-781-5483 or through his email: email@example.com. You can also visit his blog: dwightsimon.blogspot.ca