(Chicago) – Some love it, some hate it.  Well, even Barrack Obama can’t please everyone.  But ask of me, I love dinuguan – the ever popular pork blood stew.

I totally understand why many people abhor this dish. It’s made of blood obviously so this is not very appealing to many, unless you were a vampire or a mosquito. Seeing fresh blood is revolting and this was probably why I shifted to a non-medical career after a year in college. But once the pork blood is cooked, it miraculously appear like chocolate to me, just like in Mexican mole.

I think that many people do not like this dish because they tasted an improperly cooked dinuguan in the past.  I had so many versions of dinuguan from different restaurants, fiestas, family reunions and holiday gatherings and I can only remember a very few instances when dinuguan became the center of my attention.  Most of the time it’s not good – it’s either too sour, sauce is too thin, too grainy, too oily, too spicy or too salty.

How do I like my dinuguan?  A lot of pieces of pork belly and ultra fresh pork liver, a little spicy, sauce is a little smooth but with right thickness, with less vinegar and with the right kind of vinegar (the less acidic one) and no thick layer of oil/fats on top of the sauce. With these descriptions in my head, I whipped up my own adaptation of dinuguan. Hope you enjoy! Kain ng maraming rice. :)

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs pork belly
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ lb liver, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons patis (fish sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups liquid used in boiling the pork
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 1 cup frozen pigs’ blood, thawed
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 finger hot peppers (2 whole + 2 chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

 

 

Directions:

Boil the pork in water for 30 minutes until tender. Remove, cool and dice the pork. Set aside 1 ½ cups of liquid for later use.

In a large saucepan over medium high, heat the oil and sauté garlic, ginger and onion until translucent. Add pork, liver, patis and salt. Cook for 10 minutes and stir occasionally.

Add vinegar and bring to a boil. Add broth, bouillon and 2 whole peppers. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered, or until liquid is reduced by half.  Stir in the blood and sugar. Stir continuously to avoid curdling until sauce thickens. Add chopped peppers and oregano. Simmer for 5 more minutes and serve hot.