Paksiw na Pata (Braised Pork Hocks)

paksiwpata1

lpsbutton1 Lasang Pinoy Sundays (LaPis) is a weekly food event showcasing the Filipino taste through food photography.

I was chatting with my aunts on Facebook  the other night (their morning in Manila, my evening here in San Diego), talking about dinner. Specifically what I am cooking for dinner.   I mentioned that I wanted to make this Filipino dish “paksiw na pata” — hocks braised in vinegar, soy sauce, a little sugar, spiced with whole black pepper, bay leaf and dried banana blossoms.  I didn’t have any dried banana blossoms but I figured I’d still be able to create the tasty dish without it.  My aunt said it’s better not to use the pressure cooker (I don’t own one so that wasn’t a problem!) although there was no explanation as to why.  Or maybe I missed it because I was chatting with several people at the same time. LOL. Anyway, I ended up cooking it in a regular large pot, simmering for close to 2 hours last night.  It smelled wonderful and reminded me of food from way back when I was a little girl.  This morning, I couldn’t wait to taste it. (Yes, I left the dish alone last night!)  Oh, man! I knew I wasn’t supposed to eat the tasty but coronary-inducing pork skin but I couldn’t help myself.  One bite and I was a goner.  I immediately removed the rest of the skin (and sadly dumped it in the trash) before I get tempted into eating them all! The meat was falling off the bone and the sauce was just amazing. It would have been perfect with a bowl of rice. (yeah…I was too lazy to make a pot!)

I haven’t been active in Lasang Pinoy Sundays for a long time and since this week’s theme is “freestyle” (anything goes!), I’m entering and sharing this dish.

Ingredients:

  • 3 – 4 lbs pork hocks, cut into approximately 3 – 4 inch wide pieces
  • enough water to cover the hocks in the pot
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • a handful of whole black peppercorn (about 2 tbs)
  • 2 – 3 tbs sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp crushed chili pepper (optional)

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Directions:

  1. Wash pork hocks then place in a large pot.  Add water enough to cover the hocks.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook until boiling. Reduce heat to low and  simmer until meat is cooked, approximately 2 hours (depending on how big the pork hocks are).  Do not stir.  Leave alone until liquid is reduced by 2/3.
  3. Serve with steamed rice and vegetables.

Notes:  You can definitely make this using other cuts of pork and definitely without the skin. Just reduce the cooking time accordingly.

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» Kelly at Crock Tease said: { Sep 13, 2009 - 06:09 }

This brings back memories. My family grew up with a Filipino family across the street who became our good friends over the years. My mom learned a few dishes from their mother, but they were never the same as when we ate at their house. Thanks for posting this.

» virtual chef said: { Sep 13, 2009 - 06:09 }

Kelly: you’re welcome! I sometimes feel what I cook does not taste the same as what I eat at my family’s house…LOL! enjoy..

» DINING WITH BATALI said: { Sep 13, 2009 - 06:09 }

I remember my yaya used to cook this every Wednesday when we were growing up. We got used to her way of cooking that we never attempted to try cooking this dish on our own. Thanks for sharing the technique. I’ll try this one out

» Chowhound said: { Sep 13, 2009 - 09:09 }

Oh my gawd, my mouth is watering! That looks super tender, fall of the bones, just my vision of porky decadence.

» jenn said: { Sep 13, 2009 - 11:09 }

Don’t think I had this kind before. I usually have the crispy pata version. I think it’s to my likeness of crispy stuff. hehe… I may just have to give this a try.

» pegasuslegend said: { Sep 13, 2009 - 01:09 }

Wow those look so tender, you can tell they are going to fall off the bone!

» Carlos said: { Sep 13, 2009 - 11:09 }

Ang sarap! Grabe!

» Divina said: { Sep 14, 2009 - 03:09 }

This is my dad’s signature dish. And this dish has been adapted to the Filipino culture. Delicious and tempting, especially the skin. :)

» Kip @ Porky Gourmand said: { Sep 14, 2009 - 06:09 }

That looks so beautiful. I have always love Thai braised pork hocks, thanks for sharing this Filipino recipe.

» Alta said: { Sep 14, 2009 - 10:09 }

This looks lovely. I’ll have to bookmark it. I will have to hunt for pork hocks, all of the ones at the regular stores around here are smoked. I bet there’s an Asian grocery near me that has them though!

» beancounter said: { Sep 14, 2009 - 06:09 }

your paksiw looks beautiful! i think pressure cooker is not recommended cause it causes the meat to disintegrate before it soaks up all the flavours… you’re still better off simmering for a couple of hours…

» cream puff said: { Sep 14, 2009 - 08:09 }

wow! this is so yummy! am thinkin of prepaing one for dinner!!
sarap to the bones!!!

» sizzlechef said: { Sep 15, 2009 - 06:09 }

Juicy ! Thank you for sharing. Cheers !

» virtual chef said: { Sep 15, 2009 - 01:09 }

mb: thanks…i’ll look forward to that in your blog.

chowhound: it was really good…!!! finger-lickin’ good!!

jenn: love the crispy pata version, too! especially the skin…yes!!

pegasuslegend: yummmm!

Carlos: super…katakamtakam! i ate it all…i don’t think matt noticed…LOL

divina: ooohhh…would love to get your Dad’s recipe…:) yeppp.. that skin is just calling my name.!

kip: you’re welcome!

alta: you can use any cut of pork…just take note of cooking time. but you probably will find pork hocks in regular grocery stores, too!

bean counter: is that why my ninang said no pressure cooker…hmmm…thanks for letting me know, since i don’t own one! :)

cream puff: super sarap to the bones!!

sizzlechef: thanks for stopping by!

» Divina said: { Sep 15, 2009 - 11:09 }

Hi,

This is dad’s recipe.

http://rouxbe.com/recipes/1044-soy-braised-pork-leg/text

BTW, I love your blog. :)

» ces said: { Sep 17, 2009 - 08:09 }

oh my, another pata entry! yum! sarsa plang as they say..ulam na!:)

» Manang said: { Oct 13, 2009 - 06:10 }

Wow, we were on the same wavelength this week…pata!

I think pressure cooker is not recommended for this dish because it does not cause the gelling of collagenous tendons and ligaments…slow cooking (like what you did or by using a slow cooker or a dutch oven) will make sure those tough tissues become gelatinous, and that brings out the superb flavors, coupled with the spices and its own juice that it renders as it slow cooks (which will not happen in pressure cooking), so that the sauce is packed with its own flavor as well, not diluted.


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