This post may contain affiliate links which help support Girls Can Grill.
Disclosure: Swift Meats compensated me for this recipe.
My husband is Filipino, so I have been enjoying his family’s recipes for more than 25 years. One of my favorite dishes is pork adobo, which is cubed pork shoulder braised in a soy sauce-vinegar broth.
WHAT IS PORK ADOBO
It seems every culture has its version of a soul-warming stew. In the Philippines, that comforting warmth is known as adobo.
I remember the first time I was offered a big bowl; I immediately felt like I was a welcome part of the family.
Unlike an American stew that is usually chock full of vegetables and meat, adobo is a simple dish with very few ingredients. When cooked properly, those ingredients shine and provide a bold, intoxicating bite that you can’t get enough of.
Adobo recipes vary from region to region, but the base is usually onions, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, black pepper and bay leaves. Proteins range from pork to chicken to seafood.
For this recipe, I’m using the boneless petite pork shoulder roast from Swift Meats. I love it, because it only weighs about 3 pounds, which is the perfect amount for a hearty pot of this Filipino stew.
How to smoke pork adobo
To add my twist to this dish, I smoke the pork shoulder. Smoking it creates a flavorful bark while imparting added depth to the broth.
I keep the flavor authentic though by just seasoning the roast with salt and pepper. Then, I start developing the adobo flavors right away.
Usually, adobo is made by chopping pork, browning it in a pot and braising it with vinegar, soy sauce and water. So, I use that braising liquid in a spray bottle.
As the pork cooks over indirect heat at about 300F degrees, I spritz it every 30 minutes.
After about 2 hours, you will see a beautiful bark form on the outside of the pork. The internal temperature will be about 170F degrees.
At this point, it’s time to make the pot of adobo.
How to finish the adobo
Remove the pork shoulder from the smoker and let it rest for at least 15 minutes. This will allow the juices to settle down within the meat – instead of all over your cutting board.
Then, chop it into one- to two-inch pieces.
The next cooking stage is done in a large pot. You could put the pot on the smoker; however, since the adobo will be covered, I just finish it on a stovetop.
While the meat has a beautiful bark, we want to add a bit more of a sear to the pieces, so brown them in the pot with a bit of hot oil.
I like to do this in two batches, so I don’t overcrowd the pot. If you add too much at once, you’ll just be steaming the meat.
Once the meat is browned, remove it from the pot and add the onions and garlic. Then, pour in the ingredients from the spray bottle to deglaze the pot and dissolve those flavorful bits on the bottom. These will really make your broth taste fantastic.
Then, add the meat back to the pot along with the remaining seasoning, bay leaves and a bit more water. Cover it and let it simmer for at least an hour.
You’ll notice the recipe calls for coarse-ground pepper and whole peppercorns. As the peppercorns cook, they will begin to break down and become soft. I really enjoy eating the softened whole peppercorns. They just add to the complex flavors of this dish.
When is pork adobo done
You’ll know the adobo is ready when the pork is fork tender. It will literally melt in your mouth.
It will generally be ready in about an hour, but you can keep it on low and let it ride even longer for a deeper, more robust flavor.
Some people prefer a lot of broth, while others like their adobo on the drier side. If you keep the pot covered, you will preserve the broth throughout the cook. If you crack the lid, some of the liquid will evaporate. Play around with both options to see which you prefer.
Adobo is traditionally served over a bowl of white sticky rice. Spoon out some meat and a few peppercorns. Then, pour on some of the braising liquid. The rice will absorb the broth, which is heavenly.
I hope you give this smoked pork adobo recipe a try. It’s a little combo of my husband’s culture and mine. And if you love this, be sure to make my Filipino inspired grilled chicken lumpia, Grilled Chicken Lumpia Tacos and Filipino Smoked Pork Tocino recipes.
Smoked Pork Adobo
- 1 Swift Meats Petite Pork Shoulder Roast
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp coarse-ground black pepper, divided
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp whole peppercorns
- 1 tsp adobo seasoning
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 3 bay leaves
- Heat your smoker to 300F degrees.
- Season the Swift Meats Petite Pork Shoulder Roast on all sides with salt and pepper.
- In a spray bottle, combine the soy sauce, vinegar and 1/2 cup water.
- Place the pork on the smoker over indirect heat. Spritz with the soy-vinegar spray. Smoke for 2 hours, spraying every 30 minutes.
- Once the pork reaches an internal temperature around 170F degrees, remove it from the smoker.
- Let it rest on the counter for about 15 minutes. Slice it into cubes.
- Place a large sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil.
- Add half of the diced pork and brown for 5 minutes. Remove from the pot. Add 2 more teaspoons of oil and the remaining pork. Brown for 5 minutes and remove from the pot.
- Add 2 more teaspoons of oil, along with the onion and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the contents of the spray bottle into the pot. Stir, scraping up the bits on the bottom of the pot.
- Add the pork back to the pot with the 2 teaspoons of coarse-ground black pepper, whole peppercorns, adobo seasoning, ginger and 1/2 cup water. Stir to combine. Add the bay leaves, tucking them into the broth.
- Reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and cook for 1 hour.
- Serve over rice.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
[fusion_text columns=”” column_min_width=”” column_spacing=”” rule_style=”default” rule_size=”” rule_color=”” content_alignment_medium=”” content_alignment_small=”” content_alignment=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” sticky_display=”normal,sticky” class=”” id=”” margin_top=”” margin_right=”” margin_bottom=”” margin_left=”” font_size=”” fusion_font_family_text_font=”” fusion_font_variant_text_font=”” line_height=”” letter_spacing=”” text_color=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]
MORE PORK RECIPES
[fusion_blog layout=”grid” blog_grid_columns=”” blog_grid_column_spacing=”4″ blog_masonry_grid_ratio=”” blog_masonry_width_double=”” equal_heights=”yes” number_posts=”6″ post_status=”” offset=”0″ pull_by=”category” cat_slug=”pork” exclude_cats=”” tag_slug=”” exclude_tags=”” orderby=”date” order=”DESC” thumbnail=”yes” title=”yes” title_link=”yes” content_alignment=”” excerpt=”hide” excerpt_length=”10″ strip_html=”yes” meta_all=”yes” meta_author=”no” meta_categories=”no” meta_comments=”no” meta_date=”no” meta_link=”no” meta_tags=”no” scrolling=”no” grid_box_color=”” grid_element_color=”#ffffff” grid_separator_style_type=”none” grid_separator_color=”#ffffff” padding_top=”10px” padding_right=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px” padding_left=”0px” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” /][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]