How could I resist? Freshly slaughtered baboy ramo or damo (native boar, though probably farm raised, not hunted in the wild) from my favorite organic produce purveyor, Gil Carandang at Herbana Farms? When he told me he had a cooler filled with meat, I instantly asked for all of the ribs and liempo or stomach meat. I purchased some 3 kilos worth of incredibly deep red boar meat, which appeared to have a misleading amount of fat. Who cares that I have never cooked baboy ramo or boar before, this was definitely a challenge… I thought about slow braising the meat, maybe with wine or lots of spices, but in the end, I decided my first experience with baboy ramo should be as close to the real thing as possible… what would someone who had hunted a boar in the wild (and yes, there are still places with wild boar such as Northern Palawan) likely do when they had brought their prize back home to be cooked. I think a long-stewed adobo was a very likely choice…
I have cooked purchased tapang baboy ramo/damo before, excellent, here, and we also had some at a dinner in Vigan, but I have never cooked baboy damo from scratch. I wanted to come close to this very slow cooked adobo that I did in a palayok or clay pot, but indoors on a gas stove. So in the largest Le Creuset dutch oven that we own, I added the sliced ribs/belly boar meat and added just salt, garlic, peppercorns and lots of bay leaves. A healthy amount (a lot) of salt, good coconut vinegar and turned on the heat. About an hour into cooking I was worried how blond it was looking so I added about two tablespoons of kikkoman soy sauce, which should have been a real no-no if I wanted to really do this as I had made my earlier adobo in a palayok.
This gurgled over low heat for some 2.5 to 3 hours, with only a little water added to the pot. It was rather “dryish” in the end, but the most surprisingly discovery of all was that there was relatively little rendered fat. What looked so incredibly fatty in the first photo up top actually yielded a far less fatty pot than I would have guessed. The meat of wild boar is acutally quite lean, and flavorful and not too “gamey” at all.
I was thrilled with the final results, which we ate only the day after after the flavors had time to meld a bit, and we re-fried half of the adobo yielding the crisp highly burnished pieces of meat below, superb with vinegar and chillies. And with the rest of the stew, I mixed in some of the fried pieces so that you had a softer, saucier side to the boar adobo, and crisper bits as well. I really liked it a lot. Definitely not your run of the mill supermarket pork, but I think I could have cooked this with less salt. And if I were storing this for the long term, there wouldn’t have been enough lard rendered.
The next time I try this, I will do a mixture of wild boar and fattier domesticated pork. That way i will have the fat and moisture of a slow cooked stew with the distinct flavor of the boar. If you are a pinoy style adobo fan, you may want to revisit some of these earlier posts:
My first entry on Adobo, a piece written as part of the “Lasang Pinoy” Series, here one I called “Blonde and Brunette Adobo a la Marketman”
Adobong Pusit / Squid in it’s own ink
Adobong Kangkong or Water Spinach
Humba, or a Visayan style, Chinese influenced adobo
Adobong Atay at Balun-balunan / Sauteed Chicken Livers & Gizzards
Chicken & Pork Adobo with Duhat Balsamic Vinegar
Fried Adobo Flakes
Roasted Baby Lamb Adobo
Grilled Duck Adobo a la Marketman
Roast Adobo Porkloin
The Best Pork Adobo a la Marketman
Rice Toppings a la Marketman
Baby Back Rib Adobo
Adobo, Gata at Sili a la Marketman