Chef Leichte spun on the balls of his feet. A millisecond ago he was heading forward, and I was following him. Now we are face to face, and he pokes my chest with his finger. “Commit!” he says in a raised voice, his chef’s toque rising from his head and towering above me like the leaning Tower of Pisa. “Quit asking all these questions and cook! Commit to the recipe; if it fails, we will fix it, but realize you will probably learn more from your mistakes than if I coddle you through the process.” Continue reading
In looking for a new rib recipe for the grill, Pork in Adobo kept coming across the radar. Knowing that Filipino food is considered, by some, to be the soul food of the Pacific it became interesting.
Looking at the ingredients it was apparent, or seemed so, that this was a dish influenced by an outside culture. Just as Spam is a huge part of Hawaiian culture this looked to have some of the earmark influences of the American military. Upon a little research though you will learn that this method, adobo or to stew in vinegar, is indigenous to the Philippines.
Many of the recipes for this dish all look very similar. It is one of those dishes that doesn’t sway much from the original except for little tweaks by the individual cooks who want to alter the flavor to their liking, just as was done here.
While the ribs take time to complete the time is mostly spent unattended. It really is a simple dish that comes together easily. You can make you next cook-out amazingly simple as can be if you do this in advance.
Thai sticky rice and wok seared bok choy with oyster sauce are great with these ribs. If you want to be adventurous try replacing the ribs in this dish with fresh pork belly.
2 pork spare rib racks
1 1/2 cups unfiltered apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon kosher salt
5 bay leaves
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
20 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1. Place all the ingredients in a non reactive pan, large ziploc or, as I did, in a food saver vacuum bag. If you use a large pan you will need to turn the ribs every now and again making sure the ribs get a good even soak. If you get most of the air out of the ziploc you won’t need to flip the ribs but you get the idea, they need to be marinated evenly. Place the ribs in the fridge, covered if you use the pan, and let them marinate over night.
2. The next day remove the ribs from the fridge and if you are using a pan to marinate you are ready to go. Heat he oven to 225˚F. If you used the plastic bags remove the ribs, saving the marinade and put the ribs in a large casserole and pour the marinade over them. Cook the ribs, covered, for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. They should be tender but not falling off the bone. Remove them from the oven and let them cool. You can refrigerate them, covered, until needed. The recipe can be done up to a day in advance at this point.
3. Heat you grill for direct heat grilling. If you are ready to serve the ribs remove them from the marinade. Strain the marinade into a small sauce pan. Place the pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and let the marinade reduce by half.
4. Brush off any peppercorns stuck to the ribs and any bay leaves as well. Brush the ribs with some of the marinade and continue to brush with the marinade throughout the grilling. Be sure to save a good amount of the marinade to use as a dipping sauce too. Grill the ribs until seared, crispy, lightly charred and hot, remember they are already cooked so grilling won’t take long. Cut the ribs into rib-lets and serve.