When you're watching your weight, and your health, you are told to stay away from anything fatty which of course puts the nice little slabs of pork in the hotseat. While we always keep that in mind, and we seldom have anything with visible fat in them, we do indulge ourselves every once in a while (around three months or so..) in those nice, juicy, and oh so tender pork parts called pata, also known as pork knuckles or pork hocks.
While the most popular dish for pata here in our country may be the crispy pata, I thought we'll be having a different dish this time. Pata tim is a favorite in our home, with its sweet and sticky sauce infused with the great aroma and flavor of anise seeds that covers each piece generously. Cook this right, and you'll have fall-off-the-bone tender pork hocks that bring wonderful flavor with each bite. Oh, and did I mention our love for garlicky pata tim? You should have smelled the wonderful aroma wafting through the kitchen. :)
From what I remember, my lola used to cook pata tim with whole hocks, not the ones you can see on the photo that were already cut by the butcher. I prefer them cut, to save me from the hard work of cutting them during the meal itself.
Pata Tim Recipe
1 1/2 kg pork hock
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup cane vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 4 tbsp water
1 tsp sesame oil
2 pcs star anise (wrapped in tea cloth to make scooping out easier)
8 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
3 bay leaves
a dash of olive oil
- Pressure cook the pork hocks for 1 hour, or boil until very tender. Reserve 1/2 cup of broth.
- In a bowl, combine the broth with soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, oyster sauce, cornstarch slurry and sesame oil.
- In a pan, sear the pork hocks in a little amount of olive oil until lightly charred.
- Remove from pan and place on paper towels.
- In the pan, add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
- Add the soy mixture and boil until the sugar melts and the sauce thickens.
- Add the pork and simmer in low heat for 30 minutes.
- Serve hot.