How To Cook The Best Estofadong Baboy

Filipino cuisine possesses a wide array of indigenous and foreign adapted or inspired dishes. Many of these dishes are on the saucy side, and commonly appears in many of our festivities like a fiesta, weddings, birthday parties and graduation. One of which is our featured recipe for today, foreign-sounding but very Filipino at its core. 

Estofadong Baboy is a pork-based stew made of big chunks of pork meat, carrots, saging na saba (plantain), and sweet soy sauce, and vinegar-based sauce. You may think that this is similar to Adobo, another trademark Filipino offering. Still, this dish has a sweeter flavor profile because of the banana, which is not present in any Adobo variation that gives it a clear distinction from the latter. Estofado is not the usual viand that is cooked at home on regular days but usually served during special occasions. 

Preparing our guest dish for today is rather simple contrary to its somewhat intimidating name. 

And surprising your families and loved ones by serving them this festive dish on regular days can be genuinely surprising. So it is our joy to share with you the things you need to know about how to cook the best Estofadong Baboy and make mealtime an event your families will look forward to. 


What is Estofadong Baboy

Estofado might have come from two Spanish cooking terms, estofado and estofar. The first one simply means to stew and can either refer to pork or beef; however, European cuisine prefers to use the latter. Estofar, on the other hand, means to braise in a covered pan. When referring to the Filipino dish, the first method is the one employed, mainly because of its simplicity. 

(Photo Credits to: Kawaling Pinoy)

Estofadong Baboy recipe is a fusion of two different cultural influences, the traditional Spanish cooking method of stewing pieces of meat with chunks of vegetables hence the name, and use of Chinese condiment, soy sauce as it’s base. This dish is not to be confused with Adobo, though they may look similar. The use of plantain, a variety of banana commonly used for cooking in savory dishes and soups, is what spells the difference between the two meals. 

Another difference this dish has from the typical adobo is the tomato and the use of tomato sauce. The zest and tang coming from the tomatoes gives this dish a rich and bolder flavor, a technique we learned from the Spaniards. Brown sugar also gives it that hint of sweetness that completes the complex character of this European-inspired delicacy. 

Regional variations have been made to Estofado as well, depending on the province that it’s been made. The Northern and Central parts of Luzon employs the traditional method and ingredients. While in the Visayas region, especially in the province of Iloilo and Capiz, carrots, tomato, and tomato sauce are omitted from the recipe. Muscovado sugar is used instead of the usual brown sugar, giving the dish a darker caramel appearance and an even sweeter flavor profile. 

Like its cousin Adobo, our dish is no doubt, a well-loved recipe proven by the fact that every province has their take on it. Versatility and simplicity are the main selling point of this dish as different kinds of meat can be used, such as chicken and beef. Game meats like a duck can also be used for a more adventurous twist. 


Ways To Cook Estofadong Baboy

Estofadong Baboy is a perfect meal to share with family and indeed a treat that kids and adults will fall in love with. So we listed down some of the means you can use to cook this recipe at home. Taking into consideration as well the difference in lifestyle, we noted down also methods suited for people who are always on the go. 

(Photo Credits to: Kawaling Pinoy)

  Estofadong Baboy is a perfect meal to share with family and indeed a treat that kids and adults will fall in love with. So we listed down some of the means you can use to cook this recipe at home. Taking into consideration as well the difference in lifestyle, we noted down also methods suited for people who are always on the go. 

Traditional Estofadong Baboy

 As the name implies, this the authentic way of preparing this dish. The plantain is cut in half them fried and set aside. Then the cuts of pork are sauteed with the remaining ingredients. Then tomato sauce is added, followed by brown sugar, and the whole mixture is simmered until the meat is tender. The plantain is added last just enough to let its sweetness seep into the sauce and also to prevent it from becoming mushy.

Slow Cooker Estofadong Baboy

If you have an ample amount of time to prepare, then consider using this method to cook your Estofadong Baboy. Saute the meat cuts in advance, browning the skin lightly to extract the flavors from the meat. You are then to saute the rest of the ingredients and the tomato sauce, allowing the dish to cook slowly until the meat is tender. This particular way of cooking allows the flavor to come out entirely from the ingredients and envelope every strand of the meats for a more concentrated flavor. 

Pressure Cooker Estofadong Baboy

Using pressure to cook is a sure way of tenderizing meat for the shortest amount of time. And if you’re the kind of person who isn’t a fan of waiting for something to cook for an extended period, then this is highly suggested for you. 

Saute the pork cuts in the ingredients along with the tomato sauce, then bring the dish to simmer. Then put the pre-cooked meats into the pressure cooker and cook until the meat is tender. Then put in the fried plantain and remove from heat to prevent the bananas from being soggy or mushy. 

Instant Pot Estofadong Baboy

Probably the easiest among the methods listed above, as this will only require you to put in the ingredients all at once and wait for it to be cooked. 

Brown the pork cut slightly to allow the juices to be locked into the meat. Then along with the rest of the ingredients, put the browned pieces of meat into the pot and wait for it to be cooked thoroughly.


Variations 

Because of the simplicity of the ingredients needed for Estofadong Baboy, innovations that can be made to level up this dish are varied. So, here are some of the variations that you can try to present this dish in an entirely different way. 

Estofadong Baboy with Potatoes

Let’s start with potato, a very versatile root crop that is incorporated with many savory dishes. The bland taste of the potato acts as a sponge for the rich flavor of the Estofado, making it a perfect extender for the meat. 

 Lightly fry the potatoes and bananas first before putting them in with the rest of the ingredients and meat. Using potatoes for sauce-based dishes not only adds richness but also adds volume to the entire recipe. The starch coming from the potato also helps in thickening the sauce. 

Estofadong Baboy ala Humba 

Pineapple, when added to savory dishes, adds zest and a mild hint of sweetness. The acidity of it helps to cut down on the greasy aftertaste of the pork. Proceed with the recipe as indicated, but this time we suggest that you reduce the amount of sugar in half as per the recipe. The sweetness of the pineapple will compensate for the sugar, and if you used canned pineapple, putting in the juice is also a great addition to the recipe. 

Estofadong Ilonggo ( Iloilo variant of Estofadong Baboy)

This particular variant of Estofadong Baboy is famous in Iloilo, especially in the Northern parts of the province. This variation of the dish requires a three-part cooking process, and the first part is marinating the meat in soy sauce, vinegar, salt, black pepper, garlic, bay leaves, and sugar. And instead of the usual carrot, potatoes are used instead as well as the plantain (banana variant) which should be fried beforehand. 

(Photo Credits to: Delishably)

The second part of the cooking process is stewing the meat in the marinade until tender, making sure that the marinade doesn’t dry up by gradually adding water. Fry the meat lightly after simmering, setting aside the marinade for the meantime. 

 Then after frying, incorporate the marinade into the pork, adding muscovado sugar until the sauce thickens; this would be the last part of the process. Just before serving, add the fried potatoes and plantain and stir them in, just enough for them to be coated with the sauce. This estofado variant is a sure hit for people who are fond of sweet and savory dishes.

Chicken Estofado

(Photo Credits to: Yummy Ph)

If you’re not a fan of red meats, such as pork or beef, poultry meat can be used as well. We suggest using the fleshy part, preferably thigh and chicken breast, so that the meat can fully absorb the flavor of the sauce. Fry the chicken until the skin changes color then saute them with the rest of the ingredients and simmer until cooked. We can say that this is a healthier version of the dish with the omission of the pork. Just make sure to simmer the chicken longer to ensure that the flavors are locked into the meat.

Estofadong Baka ( Beef Estofado)

(Photo Credits to: Asian in America mag)

 If you have a bit of a budget and want to splurge yourself or your loved ones to a pricey meal, then this recipe is cut out for you. Beef is more expensive than pork and chicken, so it is not common for a household to serve them regularly. The process is the same, but it requires a shorter amount of time to cook as beef is naturally more tender than pork.


Troubleshooting

  Mishaps in the kitchen happen sometime, and that is a part of the learning process, admittedly, chefs and professional cooks are no exemption. So should you encounter these mishaps, we listed down some troubleshooting steps that you can try to fix them. 

  •  Too much sauce

If you have put too much sauce while cooking this recipe, try adding a few slices of plantain. That way, the plantain is going to absorb the excess sauce while adding sweetness and thickening the sauce as well due to its starch content. 

  • Strong acidic flavor

 This might be due to the tomato sauce, as tomatoes can be overpowering when too much of it is used. To remedy this dilemma, add a tablespoon or two of sugar to reduce the acidity of the sauce. 

  • The sauce is too thin

This is somewhat a minor issue when cooking any sauce-based dishes, particularly Estofado. To thicken the sauce, add a slurry of a tablespoon of flour and half a cup of water. Not only does it thicken the sauce, but it also gives the dish a glossy finish. 


Trivia

  Knowing fun facts and health benefits of what we are eating is another way of appreciating it even more. As a treat, we listed some of them here, and they are as follows.

  • Plantains, a cooking variety of banana, is rich in potassium, which helps in muscle contractions and nerve signals. It also aids in balancing our bodily fluids. It is also rich in dietary fibers. 
  • Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that is good for your heart and is effective against certain kinds of cancers. 
  • Stews, the method used for Estofadong Baboy, has been used since ancient times. The oldest evidence of this has been found in Japan.

Troubleshooting 

  Cooking can sometimes be a hit or miss situation, especially if you are just learning your first few dishes. So if you have your eyes in cooking Estofadong Baboy, then we have listed down some tips to help you lessen the chances of committing mistakes in preparing this dish. 

  • Plantain is a firm variety of banana, but it can still be mushy if overcooked. So fry the bananas beforehand and put them only in the mixture just minutes before it gets thoroughly cooked. This way, you can retain the firm texture of the plantain. 
  • For tastier flavor, avoid using bony parts of pork for this recipe. We suggest that you use leaner cuts of pork, such as loin and pork belly. These cuts possess a smaller concentration of bones and a lot more fat than the rest of the cuts, that will add more flavor to our Estofadong Baboy. 
  • For a heartier serving, add potatoes aside from the carrots. The starch of the potatoes helps in thickening the sauce as well. Be sure to fry them first before adding them in along with the plantain and carrots.

Best Served With

 Partnering up Estofadong Baboy with other food items is another way of enjoying this treat, so we’ve noted down some of them that you can try for a fuller culinary experience of our feature recipe. 

  • Rice

A warm plate of newly cooked rice is indeed the perfect canvass for this culinary masterpiece. 

  • Bread

It is not common for us Filipinos to eat viands with bread, but hey, if you’re feeling a bit of a European today, then, by all means, do so. The rich and flavorful sauce is the perfect partner for a slice of garlic or white bread like we see them in the movies. 

  • Salads

To balance out the richness of our dish, the fresh taste of the salad greens helps in cleansing the palates of the greasy aftertaste of the meats. 


Conclusion

With a creative mind and resourcefulness, Estofadong Baboy is not just limited to what we have shared with you in this blog. And we are hoping that you will use the information included in this article for your next culinary activity to impress your loved ones. And it will be our joy and fulfillment if you will add this recipe in your arsenal of culinary knowledge.

For more delicious recipe, visit Eat Like Pinoy!

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Best Estofadong Baboy Recipe

This dish resembles the popular pork adobo. However, this dish makes use of brown sugar to make it a little bit sweeter.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword Pork Recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 331kcal
Cost $5-$20

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Pork Meat
  • 2 pcs Banana (Saba) quartered
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 3 pcs Tomatoes sliced
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Fish sauce
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup Cooking Oil
  • 2 tbsp Tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Fish sauce

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a pan. Fry the banana until golden brown. Set aside.
  • On the same pan and oil, sauté garlic, onion and tomatoes. Stir until tomatoes are all cooked.
  • Add the pork, black pepper, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Stir well then cover the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Then add tomato sauce and vinegar. You can add more water if the pork is not yet tender.
  • Add the sugar and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  • Serve while hot!

Nutrition

Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 477mg | Potassium: 360mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 32IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg
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