Life is pretty busy nowadays. I’m usually running in and out of the house, going back and forth from different activities and things, which is great. But it doesn’t leave me a lot of time for cooking. Before I moved to Austin, I would cook every day for my parents. Now that it’s just me I have to cook for, I don’t need to cook all that often. But when I do cook, I try to make it easy and quick. This Filipino Pork Asado recipe was just that.
Asado, according to this Wikipedia search, is similar to the American’s usage of barbecue in that it refers to a type of marinade, way to cook, and activity in which you can attend. NOT according to this same Wikipedia search, Filipino Pork Asado is a type of marinade-barbecue. It is not necessarily a stew, but more like a braised pork dish. Also, it is not a tomato-based soup with carrots and potatoes. That would be mechado or even menudo. Definitely not asado. Kids, let this be a lesson to you. Wikipedia is not gospel–it is not always right.
Anyways, back to reality. This dish is great for nights when you just want something easy and low-key to cook. It’s really quick to prepare, has few ingredients, and is very easy to cook. I made it the other night when I only had an hour between whatever I was doing and wherever I needed to be that night. It was so quick, this post practically writes itself. So here we go.
Start with the asado marinade. It’s very similar to bistek and adobo in that it is soy sauce-based. So, start with soy sauce and mix in brown sugar, garlic, and white wine. Fun fact: When I made this the other night, I actually didn’t have white wine, which led me to buy myself a pretty fantastic bottle of Moscato. Any white wine would do. But you know me–the sweeter the better. I actually recommend a nice Chardonnay or Riesling, because it tends to be tarter in taste and that brings down the sweetness of the dish a little bit. Anyways, mix it all together until the brown sugar is fully incorporated and pour it over the chopped pork. Let all that goodness sink in for at least 30 minutes.
Once you’re ready to cook, heat up a pot–I used a wok pan. Add the pork with the marinade and enough water to cover the pork fully. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, and let it simmer until cooked through–about 25 minutes. If you want less soup, then let it cook until the sauce reduces about halfway, which would be longer than 25 minutes. That’s it, you’re done. YOU GUYS–THAT’S IT!! The night I made this dish I was running late and just literally threw this in my wok and got ready to leave. By the time I showered, moisturized, dressed, accessorized, and ready to go, so was this dish! I just serve it with some rice (of course). It also goes great with some roasted veggies or in a sandwich.
My point is that sometimes life gets crazy for all of us. Some days I feel like I’m just constantly playing catch up to my brain. Like I’m going a hundred miles a minute, but the time is just passing as usual. Sometimes I don’t feel like going through an extraneous amount of labor to get to a good meal. I just want to eat! Pork asado is perfect for all of these occasions. Bonus: it’s pretty easy on the wallet too. Double bonus: it happens to go great with that wine you bought, which is also great for crazy nights! So keep it in your back pocket. We all have those days, so give yourself an easy out every once in a while.
What’s your go-to meal for an easy night?
- 2 lbs pork shoulder chopped into squares
- salt + pepper to taste
- 2/3 cups soy sauce
- 2/3 cups brown sugar
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 4 tbsp white wine
- 2 cups water enough to cover pork
Generously season the pork with salt and pepper. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients until the sugar is fully incorporated. Pour over the pork and toss to coat. Marinade for at least 30 minutes.
Heat a pot over high heat. Pour in the pork with the marinade and add the water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium, and let it simmer until cooked through, about 25 minutes. When done, turn off heat and serve with rice!