You know how I always say that adobo tastes better after sitting in the fridge overnight? Well, it turns out that my observation is only true for adobo cooked the traditional way.
Straight out of the slow cooker, adobo tastes as though it rested and the flavors have blended and mellowed. That’s because the cooking process encompasses marinating, simmering and letting the meat sit in the sauce overnight in the fridge all at the same time.
The flavors are bolder and the meat is tasty like you’ve never had tasty adobo before. Every square millimeter, including the innermost portion, is bursting with that sour-salty flavor that we love. It’s fabulous!
You have the option to brown the meat before slow cooking. I like browning my pork. What I do is cut a slab of pork belly into thick slices first. Then, I coat the bottom of a frying pan with cooking oil and spread the pork pieces. I just leave them there on high heat until the undersides are lightly browned. I give them quarter turns every few minutes to brown all sides evenly. If you decide to skip this step, the slow cooking time will be longer.
I cut the browned pork belly into two-inch cubes, spread them in a single layer in the slow cooker and add the spices that flavor Filipino adobo — peeled and crushed garlic, bay leaves, cracked black pepper and oregano leaves.
I stir the soy sauce and vinegar together, and pour the mixture over the pork and spices. Then, I add just enough broth so that liquid reaches about three-quarters of the height of the pork cubes. It’s not a good idea to add too much liquid. There is very little evaporation when slow cooking. Add too much broth and your adobo will be soupy by the end of cooking time.
Tip: To give the pork pieces even coloring, stir the contents of the slow cooker after two hours. You may want to adjust the seasonings at this point too. I made no adjustments whatsoever because I used seasoned broth. If your broth is unseasoned (or if you used water), you may need to make some adjustments.
Slow cooker Filipino pork adobo
- Slow cooker
- 900 grams pork belly
- 10 to 12 cloves garlic lightly pounded and peeled
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs oregano stripped
- 1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
- ⅓ cup cane vinegar
- ⅓ cup soy sauce (see notes)
- 1 cup bone broth (you may use water but the adobo won’t be as flavorful)
- fried garlic to garnish
- rice to serve
- fried egg to serve (optional)
- Cut the pork into two-inch pieces.
- Optionally, brown the pork in hot oil.
- Place the pork in the slow cooker. Add the garlic, bay leaves, oregano and pepper.
- Mix together the soy sauce and vinegar, and pour over the pork and spices.
- Pour in the broth.
- Set the slow cooker on LOW and let the pork adobo cook for four hours. If you did not brown the meat, the cooking time would be an hour or so longer.
- Sprinkle the adobo with fried garlic before serving.
- Serve your slow cooker Filipino pork adobo with rice. And fried egg, if you like that combo.