Beef Adobo

Adobo is a traditional Filipino dish. It involves marinating a meat, commonly chicken or pork, in vinegar, salt and peppercorns overnight and then frying or braising it in the same liquid the next day. This method helps season the meat and would have been used by locals back in the day as a way to preserve meat before the invention of today’s technology of refrigeration. I have wanted to try this dish for a long time. I work alongside a lot of Filipino nationals and we’re often talking about favourite recipes and comfort foods. The Filipino community are incredible, their whole life revolves around meeting up with family and keeping that tradition very much alive today with their own children. Many of them have left behind family in the Philippines, a 17 hour flight away, to work here to provide a better life for their young families. I admire them so much and am grateful I have my own family close by. Friends come and go but Family will always be there. Cherish it.

Adobo always tops the list when we talk about family dishes and it is delicious. The overnight marinade tenderises the toughest cut of meat and fills it with so much flavour. In preparation for this dish I made a visit to my local craft butcher, Tuites at the Bullring, for some beef short rib and shin beef. These two cuts are very tough and need a low and slow cook. Done right, this meat will melt in your mouth. We usually use a dutch oven or casserole pot for our slow cooking with great results so we have never used a slow cooker until this dish. I recently bought a Crock-Pot Slow Cooker and this was it’s first recipe. On first observations the slow cooker has a very delicate way of cooking the vegetables and meat because the cooking heat is a consistent low even temperature. This heat helps the ingredients to cook and keep their shape and not turn to mush. This slow cooker really does free up a lot of your time in the kitchen, you literally fill the pot, cover it, turn it on and walk away. The results will speak for themselves.

The Ingredients:

400g Beef Short Rib (on the bone)

1 cup of Soy Sauce

1 cup of white vinegar

1/2 cup of cider vinegar

1 tbsp of black peppercorns

1 cup of brown sugar

1 cup of chopped scallions

1 chopped green chilli

1 tsp of garlic salt

2 tbsp corn flour

Boiled rice for serving

The Make:

Take a large Ziploc bag and place in the beef ribs along with the soy sauce, vinegars, sugar, garlic salt, scallions and chilli. Seal the bag and refrigerate over night to allow the marinade to penetrate the meat. I asked my butcher to use his saw to cut the ribs into smaller pieces so they would fit in the slow cooker. The next day you can empty the bag into the slow-cooker and cook it for up to 10 hours. I set it on the High setting for 2 hours and then the Low setting for the remaining 8 hours. When the dish is finished the meat should fall straight of the bone. Remove the meat from the pot and set it aside. Using a sieve drain the cooking sauce into a large pot. Mix the 2 tablespoons of corn flour with a little water and add it to thicken the cooking sauce into a gravy consistency. Before serving remove all the meat off the bone.  You need to remove the fat from the meat as there is a lot of fat in between the intercostal muscles.  Serve up the dish with a bowl of boiled rice, place slices of meat on top and spoon over gravy. Finally, garnish with scallions and green chillies.



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