Crispy fried pork pata (pork hock) from the Philippines
- 1 skin-on whole pork hock
- 1 C vinegar (Filipino cane vinegar if available, white vinegar otherwise)
- 1 head garlic, sliced in half across its equator
- 2 tsp peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 yellow onion, quartered
- 1/3 C Kosher salt, plus more
- 5–7 C oil
For the sauce:
- 1 C Vinegar (sugarcane if available, or white)
- 1/4 C soy sauce
- 1/4 red onion, minced
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 3 Thai chilies, minced
- 1 tsp sugar
- Put the vinegar, bay leaves, peppercorns, onion, garlic, and 1/3 C kosher salt in the pot.
- Probe the pork hock so that the probe tip is in the thermal center of the pork, not touching the bone. Put the pata in the pot and add water to cover. Set the high-temp alarm on your ChefAlarm to 185°F (85°C).
- Bring the pata to a boil over high heat, skimming any scum from the surface.
- When the water is boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the internal temperature reaches 185°F (85°C), about 2 hours. If the water level drops, refill it.
- Remove the pata from the liquid and place on a rack set in a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt all over the skin and press to adhere. Put the pata in the fridge for at least 5 hours or up to overnight. It should be fairly dry to the touch.
Fry the pata
- Place the pata in a pot big enough to deep fry in. Add oil until it reaches halfway up the pata. Remove the pata back to its cooling rack.
- Set up your ChefAlarm with its pot clip to measure the oil temperature. Set the high-temp alarm for 350°F (177°C). Start heating over high heat.
- When the high-temp alarm sounds, add the pata VERY carefully to the oil and immediately put a lid 3/4 of the way on the pot.
- When it stops popping, turn the pata over and replace the lid, allowing the popping to finish again.
- Let the pata cook with its skin side in the oil for about 5 minutes, then turn it with the skin side up and use a heat-proof ladle to constantly bathe the pata in hot oil as it fries. Adjust the heat as necessary during the cook to try to keep the oil at or near 350°F (177°C).
- When the skin is very crisp and the meat is warmed somewhat (test both with your Thermapen ONE), remove the pata to a pan to drain.
- Allow the pata to cool while you make the sauce by combining all the ingredients together and mixing well.
- When the pata has cooled enough to touch, pull the bones out, chop it up, and serve it!