One kitchen feat I consider my grand culinary victory is learning how to make kare-kare from scratch. This uniquely Filipino dish is mostly reserved for special occasions and gatherings for very good reason as from tenderizing the meat to grinding and toasting the rice and peanuts for the sauce, it involves quite a laborious process. But by employing simple tricks such as using rice flour and peanut butter, you can easily pull this kare-kareng pata into a delicious everyday dinner meal without resorting to commercial mixes.
The procedure for this kare-kareng pata is basically the same as the kare-kare I posted a couple of years ago. We are, however, replacing the ox tail with the cheaper, but just as awesome, pork shanks. And like the oxtail kare-kare, the pata version is best served with rice and pungent bagoong on the side for dipping. Enjoy!
- 2 pounds pork shanks cut into 2-inch thickness
- 2 large eggplant ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch thick
- 1 bundle long beans sitaw, cut into 3-inch lengths
- 1 bundle pechay ends trimmed and leaves separated
- ¼ cup rice flour
- 1-1/2 tablespoons annatto powder
- 1-1/2 cups chunky peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 medium onion peeled and sliced thinly
- 4 to 5 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- shrimp paste
- Rinse pork shanks under cold, running water. In a deep pot over medium heat, combine meat and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, skimming any scum that accumulates on top. Lower heat, cover, and simmer adding more water as needed to maintain 6 cups, for about 2 to 3 hours or until pork shanks tender. Drain meat, reserving about 6 cups broth.
- In a pot over medium heat, bring about 4 cups water to a boil. Add eggplant and blanch for about 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, remove from liquid and set aside. Add long beans and blanch for about 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, remove from liquid and set aside. Add pechay and blanch for about 30 seconds. With a slotted spoon, remove from liquid and set aside.
- In a skillet over medium heat, add rice flour and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and toasted. In a bowl, combine toasted rice flour and ¼ cup reserved broth and whisk until smooth.
- In a small bowl, combine annatto powder and ¼ cup reserved broth. Stir until powder is dissolved and color has dispersed.
- In a bowl, combine peanut butter and ½ cup of reserved broth and stir until well-blended.
- In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and garlic and cook until limp and aromatic. Add pork shanks and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Add fish sauce and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the remaining 5 cups of reserved broth and bring to a simmer. Add annatto water, rice flour mixture and peanut butter mixture, stirring well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue to simmer for about 10 minutes or until it begins to slightly thicken. Add blanched vegetables and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through and tender yet crisp. Serve hot with shrimp paste on the side.