Adobo Pork Sirloin
NOT MEANER, BUT DEFINITELY LEANER… AND CLEANER.
There are so many different renderings on one of the Phillipine’s most beloved dish: Adobo. Adobo, in short – so I don’t bore you too much – is a cooking method to keep food longer, by cooking meat immersed in vinegar and salt. However, I’m not going to do it the traditional way. I want this dish to be as complex as the authentic Pork Adobo, but don’t want to completely immerse the meat in an ungodly amount of salt or vinegar!
Pork Belly is usually used for this dish. Some recipes call for Pork Shoulder. Let’s go leaner. Let’s use some Pork Sirloin. Although it has less fat, it’s still flavorful. And when cooked right, it can be naturally tender and juicy. I marinated the meat overnight, well over 12 hours. Marinating in unfiltered sake, instead of palm vinegar, brings subtle, fuller sweetness. I also used low sodium soy sauce instead of salt and patis (the Philippine’s fish sauce) to control the amount of sodium intake. Yay me, right? I feel like a total adult! Well, it’s about time anyway…
You may be surprised by the amount of garlic used in this dish. One whole head of garlic to be exact! And on top of that, shallots! You know I love layering flavors in my cooking. And think about the benefits of what garlic brings to your cooking: it reduces blood pressure, boosts your immune system, lowers the risk of heart disease, and therefore helps you live longer. AMAZING, right? So, feel good about eating this meal you guys. Not just because it’s packed full of great health benefits, but you won’t be disappointed with the complex and round taste of this meal: spicy, salty, sweet, tangy… all subtle yet complete.
- 3 lb. pork sirloin, cut into 1" pieces
- ½ cup unfiltered sake
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce (or tamari, for gluten free option)
- 1½ teaspoons whole black peppercorns, coarsely ground
- 1 head garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons pure palm sugar (*optional)
- 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
- 1½ tablespoons shallots, minced, divided
- In a large bowl, place the pork, sake, soy sauce (or tamari,) pepper, garlic, and bay leaf. Toss to combine. Marinate for 12 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
- In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add pork marinate, water and broth; and bring to a boil. Using a stainless steel mesh skimmer, take off the foam and fat that rises to the top. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and cook until tender, about 1½ hours. If you're using a pressure cooker, cut time to half (about 45 minutes.)
- Using the skimmer, fish the pork out of the pot, discard the bay leaf, and place on a medium bowl. Set aside. Adding palm sugar (if using) to the broth, cook over medium-high heat until liquid is reduced to almost ½ the amount, (about 1½ cups,) or about 25 minutes. Set broth aside in a glass bowl when done.
- Add oil to the Dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Add shallots to the pot, working in batches if necessary, brown the pork. Add broth back into the pot, reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for another 15 minutes, until mixture combined and well melded.