Filipino adobo is like the Italian red sauce: every family has a different way of making it that is the “best” way, and there are about a million ways to tweak it to make it your own. As long as it is cooked in a combination of soy sauce, garlic, black pepper, bay leafs, and vinegar, it’s adobo.
I usually make chicken adobo in a crock pot, using bone-in, skin-on thighs, and eating it as a stew over rice, but I had this crazy dream of making pulled pork adobo sliders with a vinegary slaw and buns made out of very sticky rice formed into patties and fried golden brown on one side.
But Whole Foods didn’t have any ethically raised (level 4) pork, so I turned to grass-fed brisket. I have no judgment about where people buy meat – buying humanely raised meat is not accessible to everyone, either because of the price or the lack of availability. My 2 lb. brisket cost me $30 AND braving Williamsburg on a Saturday afternoon in 90 degree heat and 85% humidity. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Anyway, this is how the pulled pork of my mind became shredded beef brisket.
And then the sliders became a rice bowl because the buns were an unmitigated disaster. They formed well, but as soon as the rice hit the hot oil, they started to fall apart. It was a hot, sticky mess. So I threw up my hands and made another batch of rice.
But it was just as well. I have gotten feedback from three friends who read the blog and they are much more interested in fast and easy meals and kitchen hacks than in fancy, i.e. difficult, recipes with special ingredients. I checked my sites stats and it seems that most other people agree! So I took this rice bun catastrophe as a sign from the kitchen gods. I will now skew towards the foods that can be made easily on a weekday, with more time consuming treats peppered in.
With that in mind, check back in on Saturday to get a recipe for fried rice using the leftovers.
(Note: the slaw can be made out of kale, kohlrabi, carrots, cucumbers, and basically any veggie you can cut into thin strips or matchsticks.)
Beef Brisket Adobo
2 lb. beef brisket
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup datu puti (sugar cane vinegar) or rice vinegar
8 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 tbs black peppercorns
8 bay leafs
Place brisket, fatty side up, in a baking dish that fits the brisket snuggly. Combine all other ingredients and pour over brisket. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and marinate for 4 to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 350.
Flip brisket to be fat side down. Cover dish with tin foil and braise for 2.5 hours, or until the brisket is easily pulled apart with a fork.
Pull brisket out of the baking dish and let rest on a board for 5 minutes until it is cooler and easier to handle. Cut brisket in half, against the grain, so the shredded been is only 3 inches long, max. Cut it in thirds if you need to.
Using a fork, pull the brisket apart into shreds. Make them as thick or thin as you want. Place shreds in bowl and discard any fat. Drizzle 3-4 tbs of cooking liquid over the shredded beef and mix until all of the beef is coated. Serve over rice with slaw and more cooking liquid or soy sauce..
They key to sticky rice is soaking the rice prior to cooking it. You can do this with any rice but I like Nishiki medium grain rice. Just soak your rice for 30 minutes and then cook it according to the package.
1/2 small head of cabbage, with the core removed and cut into shreds
3 tbs datu puti or rice vinegar
1-2 tbs siracha hot sauce
1/4 cup cilantro leafs
Pinch of salt
Once your brisket is in the oven, make your slaw so it has plenty of time to sit in the vinegar before serving.
Add all of the ingredients in a Tupperware container and place in the fridge. Give contents a shake every half hour or so.