Pork Pata Humba or braised ham hock with salted black beans is a version of pork humba wherein pork pata is braised in pineapple juice and soy sauce until it becomes tender. Salted black beans (also known as tausi) and dried banana blossoms are added during the cooking process. This is a delightful dish that can be prepared for lunch or dinner and shared with the entire family.
It is important to be familiar with the characteristics of your ingredient before starting to cook. The pata is a good example of a pork cut that needs to be cooked longer to be tender. This information will help us think of the best way to prepare the dish. In this case, I braised the pork until it became tender. This method involves two processes: sautéing and boiling over low heat. Braising meats will make it tender and tastier because most flavors are extracted from it when boiled in low heat for a reasonable period of time. Pressure cooking is another method that you can use to quickly make the pata tender.
I started by boiling the ham hock in water until it is half tender. This step helps me get rid of impurities from the pork (these are also known as scums). You will see scums float while boiling. Simply scoop it using a spoon and throw it away. The water used for boiling can be discarded after the process. Whether you are braising or pressure-cooking ham hock, doing this extra step is worth the time and effort.
The next steps were to sauté garlic and onion along with the pork and then cook it with soy sauce and pineapple juice over low to medium heat until it gets very tender (or tender enough based on your criteria). The pineapple juice makes the dish taste better while making the meat tender. It contains bromelain, which is an enzyme that can soften meat tissues.
The salted black beans and dried banana blossoms are added while the pata is being tenderized. I recommend soaking both ingredients in water for at least 10 minutes before adding into the dish. Doing this will balance the salt content of the beans making it less salty. Packaged dried banana blossoms, on the other hand, might have salt and some preservatives. It will be best if you can also wring the banana blossoms after soaking.
I enjoyed pork pata humba with a cup of warm white. However, I had to add a cup more because it was so irresistible. Enjoy!
Try this Pork Pata Humba Recipe. Let me know what you think.
- 2 lbs ham hock (pata), sliced
- ½ cup dried banana blossoms
- 1 Knorr pork cube
- ¼ cup salted black beans
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 pieces dried bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon crushed peppercorn
- 4 cups pineapple juice
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 6 cups water
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- Pour water in a cooking pot. Let boil.
- Add the ham hock (pata). Scoop out the scums that will eventually float. Cover and boil in medium heat for 40 to 60 minutes. You can add more water if needed.
- Remove the pata from the cooking pot and set it aside. Discard the water.
- Pour oil into a clean cooking pot.
- Once the oil gets hot, saute garlic and onion.
- Add the boiled pata. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Pour the soy sauce and pineapple juice into the pot. Let boil.
- Add the pork cube. Stir.
- Add the dried bay leaves, cracked peppercorns, dried banana blossoms, and salted black beans (tausi). Stir. Cover and continue to cook between low to medium heat until the liquid reduces to half.
- Add the vinegar. Stir and then add the dark brown sugar. Continue to cook for 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a serving bowl or plate. Serve.
- Share and enjoy!