Monday, August 27, 2012

Pochero Pinoy by Chef Soc Inonog

Having a multicultural society, brought about by the different countries which ruled the Philippines, is one of the things the country is known for. But, albeit numerous nations that colonized the country, it was Spain which greatly influenced most of the cultural aspects of the Philippines, having ruled the country for 333 years.

The undeniable influence of the Spaniards on the Filipino culture and society is apparent even until today. Starting with the Filipino Spanish last names (all Filipino families were required to adopt a Spanish surname during Spanish colonial rule), Roman Catholicism, thousands of loan Spanish words, the numerous community feasts that also inevitably includes some cuisines greatly influenced by Spain. 

Drinking, dining, and merry-making in any social gatherings are also among the many traditions the Filipinos have acquired from the Spaniards. Spanish culinary specialties like menudo, mechado, caldereta, and relleno were among the most favored dishes served in any special Pinoy celebrations then, until today. 
The influence of Spain in the Filipino cuisine has adapted countless versions over the years, with the preparation and ingredients of the dish varying by region. One example of such dish is the pochero or stew pot which has two popular versions in the country---one, which is tomato sauce based, and the other which is similar to that of the bulalo, or the oxtail soup and stew. 

Puchero or Pochero, was originally a peasant food from Andalusia, Spain which was traditionally cooked and expected to last for several days. 

In the Philippines, pochero is usually cooked with either beef, pork, or chicken in tomato sauce with chorizo, saba banana, cabbage, green beans and pechay. Garbanzos or baked beans can also be added. 

The Pochero is  considered a nutritious meal with balanced ingredients comprising of meat, beans, and leafy vegetables. It is best served with steaming rice.

(Pork or Beef Stew)
Preparation Time:   1 hour and 13 minutes
Cooking Time    :    1 hr and 35 minutes

Yield: 8


2 tbsp        Vegetable oil
2 lbs          Pork Stew or Beef
2 lbs          Chicken Thigh, cut bite size
3 cloves     Garlic, chopped
1 tsp          Ginger, chopped fine
1 pc           Onion, chopped
2 pcs          Tomatoes, chopped
2 pcs          Bay leaves
1 tbsp         Thyme
2 cups         Water
1 tsp           Pepper, black , ground
1 tbsp         Fish sauce (Patis)
1 tbsp         Chicken Base (Knorr)
2 pcs           Chorizo de Bilbao, sliced across 1/8” thick
½ cup         Sake (Japanese dry wine) or Mirin  (Japanese sweet wine)
¼ bunch      String Beans,  long (Sitaw), cut 1 ½” long
1 lb             Potatoes,  sweet (Camote), peeled, diced, 1”
3 pcs           Plantain (Saba banana), 2 skin peeled, sliced 1” thick; 1 mashed
1 pc            Bok Choy (Pechay) cut up  1 1/2 “ length

1.       In a wok, pour oil. Turn fire to high. Brown all the meats and put aside. Note: Lightly brown chicken last
2.       In the same wok, add garlic, ginger and onion. Saute until onion is translucent. 
3.       Add tomatoes. Saute for 3 minutes. Add Bay leaves and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes. 
4.       Add pork or beef.  Saute and cook for 20 minutes. Add chicken. Cook for another 10 minutes. Add chorizo. Mix and cook for 15 minutes. 
5.       Add water and chicken base. Mix. Bring to a boil for 15 minutes. 
6.       Add patis. Mix. Simmer for 5 minutes.
7.       Add string beans and sweet potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes. 
8.       Add plantain, cook for another 10 minutes, add mashed plantain (saba) 
9.       Add bok choy. Cook for 5 minutes. 
10.   Serve hot with steam rice on the side.

Chef Soc Inonog

Dean and Director Emeritus, Culinary Arts College and Development
International Students Departments, Johnson & Wales University Providence, R.I.
The First Certified Culinary Educator by the American Culinary Federation (ACF)

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