After 5 months of non-blogging...I am back! And what better way to celebrate my coming back than making the staple of all celebrations big or small in Philippine celebrations--the Crispy Pata!
This recipe is very easy but time-consuming although, it really is all worth it when you bite into the crispy goodness of the fat layer and tenderness of the meat.
6 pieces GARLIC CLOVES, crushed
15 pieces WHOLE PEPPERCORNS
4-5 pieces of BAY LEAVES, dried
300 ml SPRITE or 7-UP
2 tablespoons of BAKING SODA
2 pieces PORK HOCK (about 1 kilo each) cleaned and trimmed
enough water to cover
1/4 cup good quality FISH SAUCE (patis)
In a big pot, boil pork hocks with garlic, whole peppercorns, bay leaves and sprite or 7-up with enough water to cover the meat for 30 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda and cover. Boil for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until pork hock meat is tender. Drain meat and score with a knife, brush with the fish sauce. Cool and wrap in cling film--freeze overnight. In the morning thaw in the refrigerator.
There are two ways of cooking the crispy pata. The first one which is the traditional way of cooking it is to deep-fry it in a big pot of oil (enough to submerge the meat). The oil should have a temperature of 350 degrees farenheit or higher. This is to make sure that the skin is crispy. If the temperature is lower than 350 degrees farenheit, the hock will not cook properly and will be soggy inside because the oil will seep through the meat. The deep frying will take 15 minutes.
The other way of cooking it, which is what I did with mine is to cook it in the broiler for 40 minutes. I prefer it this way because the oil will drip down from the meat making it less "sinful". I found out that cooking it this way also produces a crispy skin.
Crushed Garlic, Dried Bay Leaves, Whole Peppercorns