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Gourmet Kitschen

Passport & Plate - Not your average Adobo

Philippines | Friday, 7 February 2014 | 4 photos


Ingredients
1 kilo lamb shoulder
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 cups water
1-2 sprigs of rosemary
2 tsp black peppercorn, lightly crushed
2 bay leaves
30 cloves of garlic, peeled and slightly bruised
brown sugar (according to your taste)
crumbled feta
basil leaves
fried red onions
couscous

 

How to prepare this recipe
* Place all ingredients, except brown sugar in a large pot.
*Turn on heat and bring to the boil and then lower to simmer.
* Allow to cook on low heat for about 1.5-2 hours until the sauce has reduced to half or less.
*Fry lamb in a pan with some of the sauce and brown sugar until sauce is reduced and sticky. I like to add brown sugar a half teaspoon at a time and taste before adding more. You want to taste the sweetness to cut through the saltiness of the feta and soy sauce and the sourness of the vinegar.
*Place lamb back in the sauce, or serve the remaining sauce on the side.
*Serve over couscous and top with crumbled feta, fried onions and basil leaves.


TIP: This can be served immediately is but I prefer to allow it to cool and sit over night. The flavours come out a lot more and it is known to us Filipinos that adobo always tastes better the day after. To heat, fry the lamb again, with more of the sauce and a touch of brown sugar depending on how you like your sweetness level. Cook until lamb can be shredded and sauce has thickened.

TIP: Filipinos always eat adobo with rice and traditionally use pork or chicken, and since I use lamb for this recipe, I decided to fuse it with unfamiliar flavours to the Filipino palate. I serve this dish with couscous and a bit of crumbled feta and fried onions and topped with fresh basil.

 

The story behind this recipe
Adobo can very well be the national dish of the Philippines and there are so many variations of it, it's hard to have the same tasting adobo in two different households. Traditionally, it is a simple dish of pork and/or chicken cooked in white vinegar and soy sauce, some pepper and a bay leaf, and to be honest, it was not my favourite thing to eat growing up, as I am not a big fan of vinegar. As I got older and started taking on a real interest in cooking, I started taking traditional Filipino recipes and made it my mission to make even the most unadventurous foreigner to try and like our food.
Filipino food hasn't quite had it's "break out" moment the way Korean and Thai food have but I think with a little bit of refining and change in presentation, it is something that everyone will be willing to try and enjoy. In the US, Filipino food has been deemed "the next big thing" and I'm hoping that people will finally learn to appreciate our wonderful cuisine.

This lamb adobo is one of my many adobo experiments. I've tried making chicken adobo over garlic parmesan mash, maple pork adobo with sweet potatoes, and even chicken adobo spring rolls with brie and a honey dipping sauce for a dinner I had with my French co-leagues. So far, the lamb adobo with the Mediterranean twist is my personal favourite, as well as the favourite of a lot of friends and family. And even as a "fancier" version of this humble dish, it still is very "homey" and definitely is a favourite when it comes to comfort food for me and my loved ones. Hopefully you enjoy it too!

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