Friday, December 18, 2009

Pork Hamonado

I was asked recently by two fb friends about a hamonado recipe. I presumed it was the pork, since that was what we always used to have when I was still in the Philippines. I did not really have a recipe, but I do remember my Nanay simmering a big cut of pork, usually pigue in lots of pineapple juice, flavored with soy sauce and brown sugar.

1 pork ham (roast cut, about 5-6 pounds - whether cured or not, it won't matter)
1 liter pineapple juice (about 40 oz)
1 small can of pineapple, round slices, for garnishing (up to you if you want more)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 bay leaves
10 peppercorns

I slow cooked the whole ham in the pineapple, soy sauce, spices and brown sugar on high for about 4 hours (although my son disturbed the whole process by opening the lid after 3 hours, so instead of being completely done by the end of the 4 hours, it was still quite tough although done). I served this as is during the Filipino Christmas Party for the sake of our American hubbies (two attended, so that makes it three including my husband). Knowing my hubby would have liked it drier and more tender, I did not expect him to eat much of it since it was swimming in its own juice plus the pineapple juice and was very wet. But I did not have the time then to fix it some more to his liking. I did so the next day for supper using the big left over.
For those who will attempt to make it the way I did, the gist of the steps is: (1) boil ham in the mixture until just done, but will remain whole when lifted out of the pot instead of fall-off-the-bone tender; (2) remove fat and make the sauce; (3) roast ham with pineapple on top, basting from time to time with the sauce. They way I presented this recipe here is more like narration of how I made mine, adjusting under the circumstances. I encourage you to proceed as it suits yours.

To continue with the details of the next steps after boiling/simmering...

That night, I placed the big leftover ham in a roasting pan and left it out in the garage which serves now as my big refrigerator. The next day, I removed all the fat that solidified on top, then simmered the ham covered inside that roasting pan for about an hour, basting from time to time with the sauce. More fat shed oil, so that at the end of 1 hour (which assured me the ham was heated all the way to the middle), I used the fat separator in making the sauce. [Please take note that if you directly roast after slowcooking, you will not need to simmer again. I did this only to reheat before I roasted.]  Leaving about a cup of sauce in the pan, I transferred the rest to a small saucepan. I drained the juice off pineapple slices and placed the slices on top of the ham while I heated up the oven to 400 deg F. I placed the pan uncovered in the lower rack and started making the sauce in the saucepan. I just let it boil for about 10 minutes then started adding water-cornstarch mixture (about 1/4 cup of water with 2 tbsp cornstarch), and added in thin stream into the boiling sauce until it was thick as desired. Then I basted the roast/pineapple slices with this sauce about 3 times in intervals of 5 minutes, until the meat achieved a good browning and the pineapple slices were glazed good.
I took out the whole ham and placed it on a platter, then poured some more sauce on top, and had the rest of the sauce in a gravy boat for each person to pour as desired on their slices of ham. The ham remained intact as we sliced, yet very tender and done just to my husband's liking. And we shared with my in-laws, who found the taste delightfully good! This time, we had just a little left over, about 3/4 cup chopped meat, enough for me to make a small batch of pork hamonado siopao.

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