Slow cooking is not the method of choice for many home cooks. It requires time and as the cliche goes, "time is gold." But I like cooking food that requires a lot of my time because I can multi-task and do other things like write my blog entry or watch a movie online or simply stare into space while my brain cells refuse to do any work.
Slow food is meditation. It gives me time to not think.
Slow food is zen. It allows me to focus and hear myself.
Slow food is an art. It is the art of patience. A rare commodity in this age of insta-everything.
Pochero is one dish I like to make when I need time for myself. If you buy the meat cut, all that needs prep time are the veggies. Your only job is to put each ingredient at the right time.
Here's my soupy version of the dish that uses kalabasa (squash) instead of patatas (potatoes).
BEEF POCHERO NA MAY KALABASA (SQUASH)
- 1 kg beef pochero cut (brisket cubes)
- 6 cups water
- 1 small cabbage, quartered
- 1 bunch Baguio beans (long beans), ends removed
- 1 quarter small kalabasa (squash), cubed
- 3 large saba (plantain), sliced
- 2 corn-on-the-cob, sliced
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 2 onions, diced
- 1 bunch celery stalks, chopped
- 2 tbsp whole pepper corn
- 1 tbsp salt
- Pepper to taste
- 3 medium sized eggplants, ends removed
- Garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 cup fish sauce
- 1 bunch fresh coriander, minced
- Pour water in the pan, turn on to high heat and add the beef. Let it boil for a few minutes then turn the stove down to low heat. Add the salt. Allow the beef to simmer for an hour.
- Add half the carrots, onions and celery. This will give a natural sweetness to your broth.
- Add more water as needed, making sure the beef is fully submerged.
- After another hour, add the kalabasa. You want it to be super soft and add a little sweetness and starchiness to the broth.
- After 30 minutes, add the corn and pepper to taste. When the corn becomes tender, add the green beans.
- When the green beans turn bright, add the cabbage.
- Turn off the stove and cover the pot for 5 minutes to allow the cabbage to cook.
- Chop off the ends of the eggplants and boil in water (you can also grill or fry it but I like it boiled).
- Once the eggplant is cooked take it out of the water. Let it dry and cool before mincing it.
- Add the garlic, coriander and fish sauce. Mix. Put in the ref.
Serve the Pochero hot and the dipping sauce cold. Enjoy the meal with plain steamed rice.