Pork Hamonado, a delectable dish-A A +A
Pots and Pans
Thursday, October 10, 2013
EASY to prepare with less time spent in the kitchen is this simple dish which I have been savoring for some time during fiestas and special occasions during summer and Christmas time.
Definitely very Pinoy, truly an old-fashioned and traditional specialty at its best!
It is also one of the few dishes which can be cooked ahead of time and re-heated to make it more flavorful. Thus, saving a lot of time on the day it is to be served.
Slowly simmered traditionally (which can take hours) but worth the wait since it tenderizes the meat as it absorbs the sweetness and goodness of the marinade it is cooked in.
Certainly, this is one of the dishes I was introduced by mom-in-law, Amy Casenas, when we would have special lunch or dinners.
And I definitely got hooked on it and would request this until I learned the recipe eventually.
Any part of the pig can be used, but I prefer the leg or shoulder for this delicious dish.
Obviously, a whole chicken can also be substituted.
Some uses pork tenderloin, cut them into cubes before marinating in sweet pineapple sauce.
It is then fried and cooked in its sauce.
This method is a lot faster because the meats are smaller and therefore, cooks faster.
But the one I am going to introduce to you is the use of leg or shoulder.
The reason is because it is almost somewhat like a ham, thus the word ‘hamonado.’
So, consequently I wanted the presentation to be more festive during special occasions, mainly when there is no “lechon”. And this takes center stage on the table!
Personally I like the meat to be soft and almost falling off the bones when sliced with the “caramelized” sauce poured all over it.
I would also make this dish a bit “spicy” using more black or white pepper then the usual to add a kick on this sweet dish, making it perfect not only for lunch or dinner but breakfast as well when served with sunny-side up eggs and steamed rice.
The secret of this dish is to cook it on slow fire until the sweet pineapple sauce, with the addition of brown sugar becomes thick and sticky. Exceptionally Filipino, indeed.
When there are left-overs, if there are, I tend to slice the meat into smaller pieces and cook it with scrambled eggs. Using it for noodle dishes is also terrific.
One thing for sure, in the pan where the hamonado is cooked, there will be some sauce left and rather than washing the pan, I would add rice and do a little stir-frying and voila! I have delicious ‘fried’ rice for a meal!
And I am sure, one way or the other, we have all done this in dishes like adobo, humba, menudo, dinuguan, paksiw and many others. And even eating straight from the pan!
And that is one plate less to wash! How about that?
Depending on the size of the meat, the following ingredients are needed for this sumptuous meal (more if needed):
2-3 cups Pineapple juice
½-3/4 cups brown sugar
1 tsp black pepper
2-3 pcs bay leave
1-2 tbsp soy sauce
Mix all together and soak the meat in it.
(It can be marinated for a few hours before simmering it.)
Cook in slow fire and try to turn the meat once in a while for even cooking, until sauce is thick and meat is almost brown.
Transfer to a platter or deep dish.
Pour remaining sauce all over the meat.
Top with pineapple slices if desired.
This is even a great dish for gift giving during special occasions or the holiday season!
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 10, 2013.