Due to many circumstances at home and school, I haven't been able to post and update for more than a month since the start of this year. There's the unsatisfactory PLDT MyDSL service, the router suddenly stopped working, and to top it all off, my laptop's hard disk crashed for no apparent reason, deleting even my backup partitions. And as stupid as it may sound, I don't have any external backup thanks to my lazy side.
Anyway, I'm back, and very much eager to start blogging again. The crispy pata in the photo may seem dry and a little burnt, but they are the exact opposite, actually. It just happened that the sky is extremely cloudy and dark, and the light on the dining table isn't suitable for photos, so I can't get the color right. But I assure you, it was definitely crisp on the outside, and juicy fall-off-the-bone tender. We had it for our Sunday brunch, and everyone was happy.
I used a pressure cooker first to ensure that the meat is tender, then deep-fried it to yummy perfection. I would have broiled it in the oven, but my dad had it chopped by the butchers in the supermarket. You can't broil those small pieces without turning them to stone, you know! Here's how I did it, but I revised the recipe for using a whole hock instead of chopped ones.
1 large pork hock (pata ng baboy), preferrably whole
3 tablespoons coarse salt
1 tablespoon whole peppers (black peppercorns)
3 pieces dried bay leaves
8 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, sliced in half
cooking oil for deep-frying
- Place the pork hock in the pressure cooker with all the ingredients, except the cooking oil.
- Pour water until everything is submerged. Cook for 45 minutes or depending upon your pressure cooker's settings. Alternatively, you can use a casserole or large pan and cook for 1 1/2 hours, or until tender.
- Drain and cool the pork hock completely. If your have spare time, chill it for and additional 20 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a large pan, or preheat the turbo broiler or oven alternatively.
- Once the oil starts smoking, place the pata skin side down and ensure that it is submerged.
- Cook until golden brown and puffed on all sides.
- Drain on paper towels.
- Serve with vegetable salad or atchara.