Paksiw is a Filipino cooking method. With fish and seafood, paksiw means cooking with a sour base. The souring agent is usually vinegar or kamias. When cooking meat, paksiw means braising the meat in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar and vinegar. With paksiw na pata (pork leg with knuckles), a few sprigs of dried oregano and handful of bulaklak ng saging is added for flavor. Despite the name, bulaklak ng saging, or banana blossoms, do not come from the banana plant. They are dried lily buds. What is known in the west as banana blossoms is called puso ng saging (banana heart) locally.
Pork pata may be the front or hind leg. The front is preferred since it is meatier.
1 pork pata, chopped into 1″ slices
3/4 c. of strong native vinegar
3/4 c. of dark soy sauce
3/4 c. or more of tightly-packed brown sugar
1 whole garlic, pierced with a sharp pointed knife in several sections
2 whole onions, peeled
1 bay leaf
a handful of bulaklak ng saging
a few sprigs of dried oregano
Cooking procedure :
Wash the pork pata well and place in a casserole. Pour in just enough water to cover the meat. Add the rest of the ingredients. Slow cook for 11/2 to 2 hours or until very tender. The meat should literally fall off from the bones. Check the liquid once in a while; add about 1/2 to 3/4 c. of water if the mixture gets too dry during cooking.
Alternatively, pressure-cook for an hour. When pressure-cooking, reduce the amount of water to only about 11/2 cups.
Serving suggestion: Chill overnight. Carefully separate the meat from the bones and cut into 2″ chunks. Discard the bones, bulaklak ng saging, oregano and bay leaf. Reheat the meat with the sauce; add more soy sauce, vinegar or sugar, if necessary. Serve hot.