Mr. Cochinillo’s Fabada: A Traditional Dish Made Better with Crispy Pork BellyMarch 16, 2016
- Pamela CortezWords
Stews and soups are built for consoling the unconsolable; digging into a deep bowl of something warm, filling, and incredibly comforting seems to be a better cure than most. We’ve been prescribed these sorts of pleasures since childhood, from a chicken arroz caldo studded with bits of burnt garlic to molo soup with wontons slipping away from the meatball it once clothed. Fabada, in its unadulterated form, is a traditional, grown-up dish which serves all these purposes, and often more. A large casserole evokes visions of an abuela slaving away over a hot stove to create a stew that lasts for days, and keeps developing more complex flavors over time.
Mr. Cochinillo has the right idea in mind then, by creating a version that is just as homey, with a new touch that break the archaic mold the dish has often been left in. The home purveyor may be known for their near-perfect baby pigs, with a crisp skin that challenges many restaurants in the city, but their latest invention has all the qualities of a potential cult creation. It brings both nostalgia and modernity to the table—traditional fabada in every sense of the word, with almost every spoon yielding bits of gamey morcilla and slightly piquant sausage. Then, their famous cochinillo enters the fold; instead of chewy, thick slices of pork belly, silky portions of their roasted pig are cooked down until it is almost one with the viscous, starchy stew. The skin is taken from the meat, then fried until golden, creating an addictive, salty topping which acts like concentrated pork crackling. This is an extremely edible remedy to any condition.
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Price: P2500 for one tub which feeds 8-10 people; keeps up to 2 weeks.