Cookbook Profile

Pork Adobo with Apples

Makes 6 servings


Usually regarded as the national dish of the Philippines, adobo (not to be confused with the Mexican adobo sauce) is a method of cooking in which virtually any kind of meat, fish, or vegetable is marinated in a garlicky cider vinegar brew and then cooked slowly in the marinade. After simmering, the meat is browned and cooked with more garlic, onions, peppers, corn, tomatoes, and apples. The tangy marinade is boiled down and thickened with applesauce. Be sure to use a nonreactive pot for marinating and cooking the pork, since an aluminum one imparts an off taste. The adobo can be cooked a day ahead and reheated. If so, however, don't add the apples until the dish is piping hot, or they will soften and cook too much. Use a crisp, tart apple, such as Granny Smith, Cortland, Criterion, Jonamac, or similar variety. Serve the adobo with hot basmati rice.


2/3 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup light soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
6 bay leaves
3 pounds boneless pork sirloin,
   cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup smooth unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 large jalapeño chile,
   seeded and finely chopped
3 large bell peppers
   (preferably 1 each green, red, and yellow),
   cored, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 ears corn, kernels cut from the cobs
4 Roma (plum) tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
2 large apples (1 pound), quartered, cored,
   peeled, and cut into 1/4 inch thick julienne


1. Combine the cider vinegar, soy sauce, 1 cup water the sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, slightly more than half the garlic, and the bay leaves in a large stainless steel or enameled saucepan. Add the pork and stir well. The liquid should just cover the meat. Cover and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes to several hours, or in the refrigerator overnight.

2. Bring the adobo to the simmer, covered, over medium heat. Adjust the heat so that the liquid simmers very slowly and cook for about 1 hour, or until the meat is tender.

3. Strain the contents of the pan, reserving the liquid. Discard the bay leaves and cooked garlic and set the pork aside. Return the liquid to the pan and boil it until it has reduced to 2 cups. Stir in the applesauce and set the mixture aside.

4. Heat the oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook, stirring frequently, until browned on all sides. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon and set it aside. Add the remaining garlic, the onion, and jalapeño to the oil remaining in the pan. Cook, stirring for 3 to 4 minutes, until the onions are almost tender. Add the peppers and corn and cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, pork, and adobo-applesauce mixture; stir well, cover the pan, and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. (The adobo can be made several hours or a day ahead to this point; refrigerate when cool and reheat to a simmer before continuing.)

5. Add the apples, cover, and cook for 2 minutes, only until they are piping hot; the apples should remain somewhat firm. Serve immediately.

Buy the Book!  

A Is For Apple
More than 200 Recipes for Eating,
Munching, and Cooking with America's Favorite Fruit
By Greg Patent and Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
Broadway Books, June 1999
Trade Paperback, 288 pages, $15.00
ISBN: 0-7679-0203-3
Recipe Reprinted by permission.


A Is For Apple



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This page created September 1999