Hamon de Bola is a traditional Filipino dish that is often enjoyed during special occasions and holidays. It is a centerpiece dish that is perfect for gatherings and feasts. This article will guide you through the steps of cooking Hamon de Bola, from preparing the ingredients to serving it on your dinner table.
Hamon de Bola is a ball-shaped ham that is typically made from pork leg or shoulder. It is slowly cooked and glazed with a sweet and sticky sauce, giving it a unique and delicious flavor. To start off, you will need the following ingredients:
- 2 to 3 kilograms of pork leg or shoulder
- 1 cup of pineapple juice
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 1 cup of soy sauce
- 1 cup of sprite or 7-up
- 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
Once you have gathered all the ingredients, it's time to prepare the ham. The first step is to marinate the pork. In a large container, combine the pineapple juice, soy sauce, sprite or 7-up, brown sugar, minced garlic, chopped onion, ground black pepper, and bay leaves. Mix everything thoroughly until the sugar is dissolved.
Next, carefully place the pork into the container with the marinade. Make sure the pork is fully submerged in the marinade. You can also prick the meat with a fork to ensure that the flavors penetrate through.
Cover the container with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. This will allow the flavors to develop and infuse into the meat.
After marinating, it's time to cook the Hamon de Bola. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Remove the pork from the marinade and set aside. Reserve the marinade for later use.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Carefully place the pork into the pot and sear it on all sides until it turns golden brown. This will help seal in the juices and give the ham a nice crust.
Once the pork is seared, pour the reserved marinade into the pot. Add some water if needed to fully cover the pork. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 3 to 4 hours. The pork should be tender and easily pulled apart when done.
While the pork is simmering, you can occasionally baste it with the sauce to keep it moist and flavorful. You can also add more water if needed to maintain the desired consistency of the sauce.
After the pork is tender, carefully remove it from the pot and transfer it to a baking dish. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
In a separate saucepan, strain the sauce to remove any solids. Bring the sauce to a boil and let it reduce until it thickens and becomes glossy. This will result in a sticky glaze that will be brushed onto the pork.
Brush the glaze onto the pork, making sure to fully coat it. Place the baking dish with the pork into the preheated oven and let it bake for about 15 to 20 minutes. This will further caramelize the glaze and give the ham a beautiful sheen.
Once the cooking time is done, remove the Hamon de Bola from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute and the flavors to intensify.
To serve, carefully slice the ham into thick pieces. You can place it on a platter and garnish it with some fresh herbs or pineapple slices for added presentation.
Hamon de Bola is often served as the main course of a festive meal. It pairs well with steamed rice, roasted vegetables, and other classic Filipino dishes such as pancit or lumpia. The sweet and savory flavors of the ham will surely be a crowd-pleaser.
In conclusion, Hamon de Bola is a delicious and festive dish that can elevate any special occasion or gathering. It is a labor of love that requires marinating, slow cooking, and glazing to achieve its delightful flavor. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can successfully prepare Hamon de Bola and impress your family and friends with your culinary skills. Enjoy!