A dish I cooked on December 1, 2012, according to the neatly organized photo folders in my external drive. That hard drive is about the only place where I have neatly organized files but, to make sure, I double checked by looking at the file info automatically generated by my camera. And the date is indeed December 1, 2012, a Saturday. Looking back, it was probably the second to the last weekend that Sam ate meat. She went vegetarian sometime in mid-December.
This is a pork barbecue dish. Not barbecue in the Filipino sense though. No bamboo skewers. This is barbecue American style. Marinated slab of meat slow-cooked in the oven, grilled just until lightly crisp on the outside then shredded. The excess marinade was boiled with the drippings until reduced and thickened, and served on the side. As a vegetable side dish, I flash fried some eggplants. And for even more texture, finely sliced raw onion sprinkled with thinly sliced chilis.
- 1 kilogram k. of pork belly or shoulder in one piece
- 1/2 cup honey
- juice of 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
- 3 to 4 flash-fried Asian eggplants
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- 1 to 2 bird's eye chilies thinly sliced
Rinse the pork and pat dry. Place in container where the meat can lie flat.
Mix together the honey, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, cayenne, paprika, pepper and garlic. Pour over the pork. Turn the pork around to make sure every inch of the surface is coated with the marinade. Cover the container and keep in the fridge overnight.
Preheat the oven to 310F.
Lift the meat off the marinade and let the excess drip off. Transfer the meat to an oven-proof pan. Cover the pan tightly with foil. Slow cook in the oven for two hours.
Lift the meat off the pan and cool on a rack. While the meat cools, it’s the perfect time to prepare the side dish and the sauce. Pour the excess marinade into a small sauce pan. Stir in the drippings from the pork. Boil over medium heat, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Flash fry your eggplants (instructions). Prepare the onion and chilis.
Heat up the grill (I used a stove-top grill). Brush the pork with the sauce. Grill over high heat until a nice crust forms on the outside. Flip over midway for even grilling.
Using two forks, pull the meat apart into shreds.
To serve: Scatter the pulled pork on one side of a platter. Place the flash fried eggplants on the other side. Sprinkle the sliced onions in between, followed by the sliced chili. Serve the boiled sauce on the side.