In many Filipino celebrations, especially in the provinces, it is not unusual to see poultry and cattle being slaughtered for its meat. And being the unwasteful Filipinos that we are, we make sure that we can make use of all of the parts of the animal for food. And by everything, we mean everything from head to foot.
Which brings us to Pata Hamonado recipe. This Filipino dish makes use of pata or pork hock simmered in a tasty combination of pineapple juice, soy sauce, and caramelized brown sugar. Given its decadent nature and given that cooked pork hocks can serve several people, you will usually be served pata hamonado during celebrations or fiestas together with other similarly decadent dishes.
Pata Hamonado Recipe and Preparation Tips
Though admittedly a simple, the taste of this recipe is just that festive that you also have to invest time in cooking this Pata Hamonado recipe as the pata is supposed to have that melt-in-your-mouth feel. With this in mind, you have to bring out your trusty pressure cooker to make the meat tender at a much quicker pace. If not, then allot 2 hours tops for the pata to simmer and absorb all of that goodness coming from the other ingredients.
The sweet-sourness of the pineapple juice and the presence of the brown sugar are the most important parts of this Pata Hamonado recipe as both combine and contrast the other taste at the same time, which makes for an explosion of flavors as one bite into the tender meat of the pata. It is recommended that you use the pineapple juice available from the supermarket, as juicing an actual pineapple might not give you the same results. You can also add more pineapple or more brown sugar depending on how you may like the dish.
Serve while still hot and with heaps of steaming white rice. Be careful about eating too much, though.
- A large piece of ham hock (Pata), about 1.25 kilograms or 2.75 lbs.
- 1 small pineapple, properly washed, peeled and sliced crosswise,
- 1-liter pineapple syrup extracted from boiling the peel
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup brown sugar or to taste,
- 2 medium “calamansi” or 1 lime or ½ lemon juice extracted,
- 5 gloves garlic, crushed,
- 1 tsp whole peppercorn,
- 2 small bay leaves
- 2 tbsp cooking oil.
- Additionally, several cups of pork or chicken broth are also needed.
- Marinate the whole pork hock with a mixture of the “calamansi” juice and ⅙ cup or ½ of the ⅓ cup soy sauce for at least an hour.
- Flip the meat over several times for uniform infusion of marinade.
- (If No Pineapple Juice) Boil the peel and eye cuttings to further extract some pineapple syrup, about ½ liter
- In a large wok or pan, heat the oil on high flame and sear the marinated “pata” on all sides until lightly browned. Worry not if some surface cannot be seared. It’s still fine. But be careful not to overdo it.
- Using a heavy bottomed casserole, arrange the “pata” at the middle along with the pineapple, reserving 2 slices for garnish later.
- Add in garlic, peppercorn, bay leaves and brown sugar.
- Pour the remaining marinade, pineapple syrup, balance soy sauce and about 2 cups broth. Cook on high heat until boiling.
- Adjust the heat to the lowest setting possible with the liquid barely boiling.
- Be ready to simmer for several hours or until the meat is very tender.
- Turn the meat over from time to time for even cooking.
- Add additional broth or hot water as necessary, 1 cup at a time.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings if still needed
- Towards the end, cut the bulky meat into two large pieces so that it could be properly submerged in the thickening sauce.
- When the meat is very tender and sauce is reduced to a thick consistency, place the reserved slices of pineapple on top of the meat and cook for several minutes more or until the pineapple is cooked through but not mushy.
- Transfer the glazed pork on a large platter, pour the rich sauce and garnish with the pineapple slices.
- Served with hot steamed rice
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