The heavy-weight nutrients of beef, vegetables, and fruit; or, the delicate taste of tender beef, crunchiness of vegetables, and the sweet flavor of fruit—these are mouth-watering features of the native cuisine Philippine “pochero.” It is considered a luxury native dish served mostly only to the elite or in very special occasions.
Pochero dates back to Spanish times, a time when native dishes cooked were sure to be nothing less than top quality. Spanish landlords were mostly very discriminating in taste and preferences. They were often very strict masters. So this native cuisine was birthed at such a time when everything was made “primera clase” or first class.
This native cuisine, pochero, is cooked in this manner. For a kilo of pork or beef (or a mix) these are the ingredients: a small ball of cabbage sliced in big pieces, 5 pieces sweet potatoes sliced into 4 each, 7 pieces pared native “saba” bananas sliced into halves, a bundle of Baguio beans cut into halves, a bundle of pechay leaves sliced into halves, a can of pork and beans, a teaspoon of salt, and 5 cups of water. Make sure all the veggies have been kept in the fridge the night before for a crunchy quality. Now we’re ready to cook this native dish.
Simmer the meat and sweet potatoes in 5 cups of water for one to two hours for a super tender native cuisine of pochero. If the water has dwindled too much, add enough to soak meat in it. When the meat of this native cuisine gets tender enough the sweet potato should have become very soft and thickened the beef stew. Pour in all the others (cabbage, pechay, bananas, salt, and Baguio beans) except the pork and beans. Put to medium fire for half a minute, pour in pork and beans, and cook for another half a minute, then the native dish is ready to serve. Make sure not to over do the vegetables to keep their crunchiness.
Native cuisine, Pochero, has an aroma and taste that blends the pungent qualities of meaty richness and fruity sweetness. Its thick stew captures in all the abundant goodness of beef, vegetables, root crop, and fruit for a tangy native dish flavor unmistakably Filipino-Spanish in orientation.
A super balanced native cuisine complete with meat, veggies, root crop, and fruit is the Philipine pochero. Balanced meals seldom come as delicious and nutritious as this native dish does—not to mention its rich and thick stew.