The south of Peru is our destination for this delicious Peruvian pork adobo recipe. The key to adobo is the marination process which infuses the meat in this pork stew with tons of flavor. Apart from the marination time (overnight) this recipe won’t take more than an hour to prepare. Slow cookers are often used to prepare adobo but we’re using more tender cuts of meat so we can significantly cut down on cooking time.
In this recipe, the meat we’re using is pork loin instead of pork shoulder. I prefer the fattier, juicier shoulder cut of the pig but it’s not suited to everyone’s taste. Plus it takes longer to cook. Not to mention the fact that the shoulder is often more economical pork cut than the loin.
Sometimes it’s nice to mix things up, so here’s our easy-to-prepare, lower-fat, loin adobo recipe based on the traditional Peruvian version. For budding cooks that might want to keep the fat content down, loin is a better choice.
We’ve also omitted the chicha (chicha de jora), a fermented corn juice that the traditional version of the recipes typically uses. Chicha is hard to find and we wanted to develop a recipe that anyone can make without having to search high and low for a particular ingredient. Red wine vinegar is a good substitute. For convenience, you can also use panca paste instead of the aji panca chilli.
This delectable, colorful, savory dish’s deep red/brown tint looks great with a starchy accompaniment. Match it with steamed white rice for the perfectly contrasted side. You can also use potatoes (as with almost every Peruvian dish) or sweet potatoes.
Peruvian Pork Loin Adobo Recipe
For the marinade
- 1 kg of pork loin
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 3 medium onions 300 g.
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup oil
- 3 sweet Peruvian red peppers aji panca, 30 g.
- 3 cups of water or broth
- 1 carrot optional
- 1 tablespoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup of white rice
- Salt to taste
- Lay ingredients on preparation table
- Peel the onions and cut them into julienne strips. Place the onions in the bottom of the glass container where the pork cuts will be marinated.
- On the cutting board, place the chili peppers and cut the stem with a sharp knife. Open the peppers crosswise, remove the seeds, the veins and finally cut the chilli finely. Place next to the onions.
- Peel the garlic and grind it with the mortar.
- Cut the pork into cubes of about three centimeters. Season the pork with the minced garlic, salt, a pinch of pepper.
- If you want your sauce to be a little thicker, add a grated carrot. Peel the carrot and grate it with a cheese grater on the fine side to get the perfect texture.
- Pour the pork cubes into the container where the marinade will be prepared. Add the vinegar, bay leaf, coriander, carrot, and stir well. Make sure all the ingredients are well mixed. Cover the container and store it overnight in the fridge.
- Remove the container from the fridge, uncap it and drain the pieces of pork. Place the oil in a thick-bottomed pot. Add the oil and when it becomes bubbly, incorporate the pork slowly to avoid burns.
- When all the pork cubes are fully browned, add all the vegetables and the liquid that is at the bottom of the container.
- Add the broth and cook, covered, over low heat for 45 minutes to one hour. Test to see if you need to add a pinch of salt. Season with a little more salt and pepper. Reserve the preparation covered to the side.
- While the pork is cooking, place four cups of water in a saucepan to boil.
- Prepare white rice, following the directions on the packet. Usually, it is two and a half parts of water for each part of white rice. If you want your rice to be whiter, add a few drops of lemon while the rice is cooking. You can also add a tablespoon of oil.
- Serve a cup of cooked rice and a good part of marinade.
- Add a little coriander on top, decorate with chili pepper. Enjoy the dish piping hot.
Peruvian foodie. I’ve been writing about the food of Peru for over 10 years. Read more about the Eat Peru team here
This must be a restaurant serving of adobo because when it is served at home it is a soup served with croutons and it begins with a shot of anis liquor.
No carrots or coriander, please. Also, use red onions, red only.