When cooking pork and pineapple adobo, use fresh pineapple. Divide the pineapple into two portions, simmer half with the pork and use the rest to garnish the dish.
Oh, I know. That sounds so radically different from the pork and pineapple adobo that we have come to know—the kind where the pineapple chunks or tidbits are added after the pork is done and the pineapples serve as nothing but mere decoration.
The thing to remember is that adding pineapple to pork was a gimmick that Del Monte came up with to market its canned pineapple. For the company, the only thing that mattered is that pineapple was added and never mind if there’s a better way to add the fruit to adobo. The sad part is that many cooks, including Filipino food bloggers, were quite content to cook pork and pineapple adobo as advertised by Del Monte.
Well, I have to say it. Pineapple really does wonders to adobo but only if you use fresh and only if you add enough pineapple to the meat during cooking to allow the juice that the fruit expels to get mixed with the adobo sauce. The result is a subtly sweet adobo with lovely fruity undertones.
Alex cooked this dish.
- 3/4 kilogram pork belly skin on
- 6 cloves garlic crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce (you may need more)
- 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks divided
- hard-boiled eggs to serve
- torn cilantro to serve
Cut the pork belly into two-inch cubes.
Place the pork cubes in a wide shallow pan, add the crushed garlic, crushed peppercorns and bay leaf. Pour in 1/4 cup vinegar. Set the heat on high and bring to the boil without stirring.
Continue boiling, uncovered, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the pork starts to render fat.
Stir and cook until the edges of the pork start to brown.
With the heat still on high, pour in 1/4 cup soy sauce and about a quarter cup of water. Bring to the boil.
Stir in half of the pineapple chunks.
Lower the heat, cover and simmer the adobo with occasional stirring for an hour to an hour and a half or until the pork is very tender and the liquid considerably reduced.
Optionally, for more flavor concentration, uncover the pan, turn up the heat and continue cooking the adobo, stirring often, until quite dry. Be careful though because the pineapple contains sugar and the mixture can burn fast if left unattended.
Off the heat, toss in the remaining pineapple chunks.
Serve the pork and pineapple adobo over rice topped with torn cilantro and with hard-boiled eggs on the side, if you wish.