My list of posts to write is getting longer every day. Cooking daily but not blogging daily? Not a good match!
If you don’t know pochero (alternate spellings include “puchero” or “putsero”)…I don’t either. All I actually remember from pochero was that it was made with chicken, tomato based sauce, and that it had banana. My mom does not cook pochero, or most of the tomato based dishes, for that matter.In the Philippines, Spanish-inspired tomato-based dishes include kaldereta, afritada, mechado/sarciado, menudo, pochero, and callos. There are many varied points of view as to the differences; some break it down to the vegetables included in it, some depend on whether there’s liver or none, but all I know based on experience is:
- Kaldereta / caldereta – Usually beef or goat meat, a little bit spicy
- Afritada – Usually chicken, most basic, me thinks
- Menudo – Usually pork, ingredients are cubed and includes potato, carrots and liver (sometimes: hotdogs, green peas, raisins)
- Mechado – Beef with fat in the middle like a candle wick or “mitsa,” hence the term (I think it would be wrong to use any other kind of meat and call it mechado)
- Sarciado – Normally used if you make beef similar to mechado but not use the special cut with the beef fat in the middle; sometimes used with chicken that’s afritada-like but less veggies
- Pochero – Usually chicken, all I really know is that this has saba banana, everything else doesn’t!
- Callos – Uses ox tripe
I did this recipe below referencing to two different websites, in hopes of getting a good version. As my husband ate it, he said it was–and I quote–“the best pochero” he’s ever tasted!
But when I asked him if he knows what pochero is supposed to be like, admitting that it was my first time to make it, it turns out we’re both no experts, and that this was probably only the second one he’s tried! Ayy this man, should I ever trust him about his opinion on my food again? 😀
It did turn out very tasty, and I won’t hesitate making it again. (Okay maybe I slightly would hesitate, because there’s so many ingredients.) But if you ever try it and you happen to know what it’s supposed to be like, it’d be great to have some feedback. Leave me a comment! Thanks in advance!
- 1/4 cup cooking oil
- 2 saba bananas, sliced
- 1 medium potato, peeled and quartered
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium ripe tomatoes, quartered
- 4 pieces of serving-size chicken (about 500g)
- 1 tbsp fish sauce (patis)
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1 chorizo Bilbao, cut into 1″ thick coins
- 5 green beans / Baguio beans, cut into 2″
- 2 cups cabbage, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1/4 cup chickpeas (garbanzos)
- 4 big pechay tagalog leaves or 1 small bok choy bunch
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a pot or deep pan, heat oil. Fry potatoes and banana until slightly browning. Set aside on a paper towel.
- Saute garlic, onion, and tomatoes until soft. Add chicken and brown. Mix in fish sauce and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in tomato sauce and water. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to simmer for about ten minutes. Season with salt and pepper, or additional fish sauce, to taste.
- Add chorizo and chickpeas, simmer for about 5 minutes. Next, add cabbage and green beans and continue simmering for another 2-3 minutes. Lastly, add pechay/bok choy, potatoes and bananas. Cook until all vegetables are done to your liking.