Dinner was a few spoonfuls of pork sinigang (more cabbage than pork), bits and pieces of a hamburger and two pieces of cloyingly sweet French macarons. I can actually say that I don’t have that big of an appetite today. My body is still reeling from an eventful week. I started it in Manila (a trip that was more business than pleasure) and I want to end it with good food and a better bed here in Zamboanga. I can’t really say that sleeping the whole day was enough. I’m still drowsy and I can’t wait to catch up on a few winks. But looking back at the past few days leading up to my trip, I think I might have eased off my blogging duties. To offset the neglect, here I am.
I have a lot of things on my mind right now – a few “more than perfect” reasons to blog some more. First reason (More reasons next time): the goodness of Filipino food. I am at a point where I can’t wait to introduce more traditional dishes that I grew to love.
My Mama Eng (more than one blogger friend told me she’s a great person even if they’ve never met her, for that I’m thankful) has always been my go-to person when I want great comfort food. But I also want to make it a point to discover the endless possibilities of Filipino food on my own. An honest attempt at “testing the waters” resulted in, dare I say it, a great bowl of paksiw (even without the lechon!).
Paksiw is essentially a dish cooked in vinegar and garlic. It’s different from adobo in that soy sauce isn’t usually put it paksiw. When we have large gatherings and there’s lechon, chances are a few hours later the kitchen is already filled with the acrid smell of vinegar as the lechon is being paksiw-ed (haha). It’s one way of making sure that the meat doesn’t go to waste. Most of the time lechon/liver sauce is being added to the paksiw to give it a sweet-savory taste that’ll cut through the acidity. This recipe uses pork pata (trotters), and I actually made this a day before I left. Blame the proverbial block that kept me from posting this sooner.
Enjoying paksiw has always been a hit or miss for me. Sometimes I enjoy it, sometimes I don’t. But I had spoonful after spoonful of this dish in no time. This isn’t too sour nor is it too sweet. The combination of the lechon sauce and the vinegar is just right. Using pata instead of lechon meat makes this a great weekday dish, just make sure to soften the meat by boiling before cooking it into a paksiw. This was never meant be eaten alone. If you think you can eat this without a bowl full of rice, then I think you’re crazy.
Pork Pata Paksiw (serves 4 – 6, adapted from yummy.ph)
- 1 1/2 kilo pig’s front trotter (pata front)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 1/2 cups bottled lechon sauce (I used Mang Tomas)
- 3/4 cup pork stock
- 4 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place pata in a deep stockpot and fill with water until the meat is fully covered. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 1 hour or until pata is fork-tender. Drain and let cool.
- Carefully remove the bones of the pata and slice meat into 2-inch pieces. Heat oil in a medium stockpot. Briefly fry the meat until lightly browned. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add all the other ingredients in the stockpot. Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes without stirring. Stir and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Continue to cook for another 15 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Remove bay leaves and peppercorns before serving, or you can also leave some as garnish.