Pork Belly Adobo
Adobo’s vinegar and soy sauce combo challenges most wines, but the mineral and citrus-y tang of Vermentino holds its own against the South Asian flavor punch. Vermentino hails primarily from Italy, notably Liguria, Tuscany’s Maremma, and Sardinia. Find a bottle from each region and compare.
Filipino food is trending. Several mainstream chefs declared it “the next big thing,” most recently Anthony Bourdain. The cuisine is a complex amalgam of cultural influences, from Spain, China, to Japan. Even the name of this dish, “adobo” derives from the Spanish word “marinade,” in this case, meaning soy, vinegar, garlic and peppercorns. While many dishes require ingredients difficult for home cooks to source, this unofficial national dish of the Philippines can be prepared with items already in your pantry.
Serves 4-6; Total time: 3 hours
3 pounds pork belly, skinned and cut into 2-inch pieces
12 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
½ cup soy sauce
1 ½ cups vinegar
8 fresh bay leaves (dried is okay, too)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
3 tablespoons olive oil
Cooked jasmine rice, for serving
1. Combine soy sauce, garlic, and pork belly in container or Ziplock bag and marinate for one hour in fridge.
2. In a Dutch oven, spread pork in a single layer on bottom. Add marinade, vinegar, bay leaves, garlic, salt, peppercorns, and smashed garlic cloves. Barely cover the meat with water, about one or two cups. Bring oven to a boil on the stove top then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 1 hour. With a slotted spoon, remove the pork and set aside. Continue simmering broth on low.
3. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add pork to pan and sear on all sides until golden brown. Return pork to the pot, and continue simmering while reducing the sauce, about 30-60 minutes until pork is fork-tender. Scoop rice into bowls and top with pork. Spoon sauce over meat, to taste, and serve.