Pork Asado

Kapampangan-style Pork Asado marinated in citrus juice and soy sauce and braised in tomato sauce until tender and flavorful. It’s a hearty and tasty dish perfect for family dinners or special occasions!

There are two types of Asado known in Filipino cuisine. One is the sweet and salty Chinese-style where the meat is cooked low and slow in soy sauce, brown sugar, and spices such as star anise and five-spice.

A good example of this variant is Pata Tim made of whole pork leg, our popular Macao spare ribs, and of course, our favorite siopao asado filling.

The other version which is the recipe below has more of a tangy and savory taste profile.  The pork shoulder is first marinated in citrus juice, soy sauce, and aromatics such as garlic, onions, and peppercorns, and then braised in tomato sauce until fork-tender and tasty.

A generous dollop of tinned liver spread is usually added to help thicken the sauce and enhance flavor along with pan-fried potatoes to extend the dish.

Cooking tips

  • Do not marinade pork for too long as the acids in the marinade will denature the protein fibers and turn the meat mushy. At least 30 minutes to a maximum of four hours should do the trick.
  • Pork roasts are usually irregular in shape and girth. If serving for a party, you might want to bind the slab with butcher’s twine to give it a more uniform and appealing appearance and to ensure even cooking.
  • Sear the meat properly to add color and enhance flavor.  Pat the meat dry and cook on high heat so it will brown and not steam.
  • I like to use pork shoulder which is pretty meaty with adequate ribbons of fat for juiciness and is a great cut for braising. You can also use pork loin if you prefer a leaner cut.
  • The pork is traditionally cooked whole and then sliced to serving portions. You can cut it in smaller chunks if you want to speed up cooking time or don’t have a big enough pan to fit.
  • When tender, remove the meat from the sauce and allow to rest for a few minutes before carving to redistribute the juices. Cover tightly with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  • Pan-fry the potatoes until lightly-browned to keep them from falling apart when finished off in the sauce. Or you can fry them all the way done and serve as a garnish.
  • For a richer flavor, add shredded quick-melt to the sauce.

How to serve

  • Although Kapampangan-style pork Asado is most often served for holidays, fiestas, and special occasions, it’s simple enough to make for everyday family meals. It’s a hearty and tasty dish that goes well with steamed rice.
  • For leftovers, store the meat with the sauce in an airtight container to prevent from drying out.
  • To reheat, place in a wide pan over medium heat and add water if needed to loosen the sauce. Heat, stirring regularly, to an internal temperature of 165 F. For best results, use freshly-fried potatoes for garnishing.

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