Sunday, September 18, 2011

TRIBUTE TO THE SASSY LAWYER AND MARKET MAN: THRICE-COOKED LIEMPO


Two of my favorite food blogs are Market Man and Sassy Lawyer's. Market Man knows serious stuff about food. Plus he got featured in Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential. Plus he's Bisaya. And Sassy Lawyer? She’s that and more: mother, blogger, foodie, photographer and law school friend. But the last is not the reason why I like her blog.


One of the best things about their blogs is that they feature recipes that they themselves have developed, with methodology meticulously described. Plus illustrated with the most tempting photos. I'll never be anywhere near them, but I can try.

Today's blog is all about one of my favorite food items: pork, and my take on one of my favorite pork dishes, pata tim, which is cooked by first steaming the pork leg, then frying it, then finally braising it. Steaming is preferred over boiling because this will keep the meat from coming apart.

I chanced upon a nice slab of pork belly at Cherry Foodarama on Shaw and I thought: I'll do a liempo tim, my way, and document my cooking journey ala Market Man and Sassy Lawyer.

Along with the pork, I bought red Chinese cooking wine, good oyster sauce (check the ingredients and get the brand that has oyster juice as the first ingredient), tengang daga and canned mushroom.

This dish takes time and perseverance but the praises you will get at eating time will be worth every effort you will have put into the preparation of this dish.

FIRST STEP – MARINATION: I rubbed the slab of liempo with freshly-ground black pepper and sea salt. I then prepared a marinade of 1 cup Chinese wine and ½ cup oyster sauce, and in it I placed the liempo’s top half for one hour and the bottom half for another hour.
Marinating the liempo
SECOND STEP – STEAMING: I mixed the marinade with an equal quantity of water and used this as my steaming liquid. Every 15 minutes or so of the steaming process, I poured the steaming liquid over the meat. I didn’t let the water run out in the 90 minutes that I steamed the liempo. At the end of the steaming process, I collected the water with the rendered fat. Check out the amount of fat that I collected.
I used a bigger steamer than what's in the picture.
See how good to eat the liempo is after the steaming?

THIRD STEP – BROILING: The third step is supposed to be to fry the pork, but I wanted to take the less sinful route so I used my turbo broiler. I popped the steamed liempo, set the turbo broiler at its lowest setting for 45 minutes, and another 10 at its highest. Tip: to make cleaning easy, put in about 2 cups in the broiler to keep the drippings from cooking into the metal. Again, I collected the fat from the broiling process and boy, was there a lot!
The liempo in the steaming liquid, after refrigeration and the fat collected. And thrown away.
FOURTH STEP – BRAISING: I placed the broiled liempo in a good-sized pot with 2 cups red Chinese wine, 2 cups oyster sauce, 2 cups water, the tengang daga, a mid-sized can of mushroom and set the stove on low, and let the everything braise for about an hour. I don’t know what I did right but the meat never fell apart during the braising. I occasionally added water to the braising liquid to keep it from burning. About 45 minutes after the braising, I added a cup of sesame oil and let the liquid reduce further.


Good enough to eat after the
broiling, but...And again, more fat!
FIFTH STEP – PLATING: What to match with this rich dish? Recalling how many cooks marry two cooking styles, I thought: why not prepare a pancit base for this dish in the Italian style? I got some white pechay, sliced it and some pancit canton. I took the meat out of braising liquid, added about a cup of water, let it simmer, then tossed the pancit canton in. I corrected the taste with oyster sauce and sesame oil. When the pancit canton was nearly done, I put in the pechay, covered the pot for about 3 minutes and served the pancit on a platter, and placed the Thrice-Cooked Liempo on top.


The final product had a nice sheen to it, and when cut, the meat was tender and juicy. Must try again!
If I had any decent knife skills, I would have sliced the bones away from the meat and sliced the liempo. Maybe next time.

NOTE: The cooking process could take more than a day. After the steaming, I refrigerated the meat so I could continue the cooking the next day.

This recipe is by no means perfect but it was hit at our Sunday lunch and my cousin, herself a formidable cook and foodie, asked for the recipe, so yeah. It is good!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

tsalap!
- cobra

Anonymous said...

Ayayay there goes my no-pork diet. Great posting!

Anonymous said...

Ayayay there goes my no-pork diet. Great posting!

Elizabeth Besa Quirino said...

Wonderful and very detailed post on how to prepare Pork Belly or Liempo. I liked how you explained everything clearly. You just made me so hungry. I must try your recipe and method. Thanks for sharing! Enjoyed reading your blog from here in the USA. Will definitely be back for more!

eatership said...

Wow! Thank you all for such a positive response. Hope your own version of this dish turns out great :-)

eatership said...

I'm very flattered that Beth Quirino of http://asianinamericamag.com/ stumbled on this blog! Wow! And she liked my recipe and blog. Thanks so much. Someone told me that maybe the liempo from organic pigs would be better suited for this dish because of the thinner fat layer. Sadly, I can get free range pork only when I go home to Ozamiz. Please tell me how your version turned out.

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