Paksiw na Pata

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We have been quite busy for the past several months and my cooking has been alternately quickies or leisurely-cooking while working. The quickies in the kitchen of course are my stir-fry veggies, quilos, fried meat/fish, halabos (shellfish cooked with salt and from its own juice and no water at all), easy soups and the likes. And when I say leisurely-cooking while working, this is slow-cooking for hours that I always make it a point to set my alarm clock every 30 minutes just so I won’t burn anything and trigger the smoke detector. Of course, leisurely styles of cooking like braising and stewing makes melt-in-the-mouth meals not possible with the quickies.

Here is paksiw na pata that has a melt-in-your-mouth texture – pork leg stewed in vinegar, sugar and spices with bulaklak ng saging, which literally means ‘banana blossoms’ but actually edible dried tiger lily buds sometimes called golden needles.

Pata (pork leg, choose one that’s meaty)
1/2 cup of crushed garlic
1 medium-sized onion cut into quarters
a cup of lily buds
2 pieces bay leaves
about 10 pcs. peppercorns
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
4-5 tbsp of sugar

Put the pork leg into a pot of boiling water (about 6-7 cups enough to cover the pata) and simmer with lid closed for an hour. Add the rest of the ingredients except the vinegar and bring to a boil. Then add the vinegar without stirring. Let the stew remain at a simmer for another couple of hours or more or until tender, adding more water if necessary. (In my case, a total of 5 hours.)

Remove the pata from the pot and transfer to another plate. Run your knife on one side to separate the meat from the bone and get rid of the bone. (This is the time when you may stop the cooking if ever you decide to go out for a meeting or whatever and continue at a later time or the next day.) Transfer the pata to a skillet and continue simmering with the remaining sauce until there’s about a cup or two of sauce left. Serve with plain rice and steamed vegetables.

You could debone first (that means after an hour of simmering) before adding all the other ingredients (i.e. soy sauce, vinegar, etc.) and proceed to cooking.  You may also cook the potatoes in the stew instead of steaming them separately.

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

14 thoughts on “Paksiw na Pata

  1. tried your recipe yesterday and it was a big hit! cooked it for 3 hours only but it was already very tender. my husband really loved it.

    Many thanks for the recipe


  3. Hello there again! I’ll try this one also. Remember, I also tried your ampalaya con carne recipe and my family loved it. Even my son who is not used to eat ampalaya enjoyed it. My husband was so proud of me. Thanks Iska for this recipe. :)

  4. hi gerry! good to read you enjoy gong though my recipes :-) please let me know when you tried any of them…

    you’re welcome, mini! ecstatic to read your family love it!

  5. hello iska,

    buti na lang at may internet na, at may Iska pa! Thank you sa mga recipes mo. simple lang kaya dali ko masundan. I tried some of your recipe pati dessert yung leche flan, bilib na bilib misis ko. Akala niya binili ko, thanks again!


  6. hi cherrie & victor: really nice to know that you’ve tried them and like ‘em!

    hi maryann: hope you had a successful paksiw na pata! happy cooking!

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