At this time of the year, cemeteries come alive with the influx of people visiting their dearly departed in observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. Many even hold picnics in the cemeteries, toting along foldable tables, chairs and other paraphernalia, and planting these right beside the graves.
Not to be outdone, vendors come in droves, too, sprouting seemingly out of nowhere to peddle everything from pizza and pancit to fried chicken.
If you’re part of those families for whom a prolonged visit to the cemetery is a must, why not take along your own picnic food? It’s cheaper and you can be assured of its taste and quality. Here’s a recipe for a sweet, tangy barbecued pork that’s easy to bring to a picnic. You can marinate the pork the night before then just grill them on skewers before leaving the house.
Don’t forget to bring along the dipping sauce. It makes the barbecue taste even better.
Barbecued pork and peppers
1 k pork shoulder (kasim)
1-2 large green bell peppers
1 c sugar
1 head garlic, crushed
½ c soy sauce
½ c banana ketchup
2 tbsp freshly squeezed calamansi juice
1 c 7-Up or Sprite
For the dipping sauce:
½ c reserved marinade
½ c banana ketchup
1-2 pcs siling labuyo, sliced (optional)
Slice the pork into bite-size cubes or into thin strips (or you can have the butcher do this when you buy the pork). Cut the bell peppers into small cubes then set aside.
In a bowl, combine sugar, garlic, soy sauce, banana ketchup, calamansi juice and 7-Up or Sprite. Marinate the pork in the mixture for several hours or overnight (keep in refrigerator to prevent spoilage).
Remove the meat from the marinade and pour the marinade into a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Let boil for one to two minutes then remove from heat. Set aside one-half cup of the boiled marinade to use for the dip.
Use the remaining boiled marinade for brushing on the meat during the last two minutes of grilling.
Thread the meat and the bell peppers into skewers. Heat a griller to medium heat and grill the skewers about six to seven minutes on one side (depending on the thickness of the pork). Turn the skewers over and grill for another three to four minutes or until meat is fully cooked and peppers are tender. Brush the meat with the boiled marinade during the last two minutes of cooking.
Meanwhile, prepare the dipping sauce. When the barbecued pork and peppers are cooked, brush them with some of the dipping sauce. Serve the remaining dipping sauce on the table.
Prepare the dipping sauce:
Combine the reserved half-cup boiled marinade with the half-cup banana ketchup. If desired, add the siling labuyo (for a spicier flavor). Blend until smooth.
If using siling labuyo for the dip, remove the seeds if you want a less spicy flavor.
Aside from bell pepper, you can also use cherry tomatoes and cocktail onions.