Page: steak(for mobile device user)
I really love the Philippines. And I love the Philippine cuisine and all the yummy dishes here but sometimes, I am really craving for a big piece of flesh, just with salt and black pepper.
'Hunting for a steak'
I am from Germany and used to have once in a while a nice piece of flesh on the table. No need for an expensive Porterhouse or T-bone steak. I am already satisfied with a nice steak, cut from a yummy pork neck. With only little parts of fat but a nice flesh. Medium rare, just a little salt from a salt mill and nice black pepper all over.
One day, I was with friends in a Mall strolling, when I could see in the food court an offer for a 'grilled T-bone steak' for about 200 PHP. I really could not resist to ask the Saleslady: How thick is it? She show to me between her thumb and pointing finger maybe a half inch. That would be a nice (but unbelievable) size for this country and this price. But I need to order this! Even for a try. - To be honest: I could not make a picture from her special kind of an inch. The steak was only maybe 6mm thick which is a quarter of an inch. But to be fair: I have no idea how the 'Lady from the grill' could make it really medium. I wanted to take the next time a picture because I had no cam with me at that time. But that shop was no longer available and the place again to lease. Maybe... I was not the only unsatisfied customer?
But now my interest was awaken and I started to search for big cut of flesh. Oh yeah, I was not expecting to find an American Steak, even I had a little hope because there is a lot influenced by the American here in the Philippines but for the mean time, I already would accept to find a butcher who is cutting a pig in a 'proper' way, so I can find my piece of neck. After some tries we was able to find in a SM Hypermarket a meat stall, who could offer (even from a frozen piece) to cut slices like I want: nearly 2 inch thick, please. But here it is called 'Pork steak' but the cut is still different.
I really don't want to complain. I love a nice Pork Adobo, but that's like a German Goulash, flesh cut into pieces. I don't eat that daily. A roasted chicken is the biggest piece of flesh since now, I could experience in the Philippines. But you need to be fast and order it with a 'Don't cut, please' or else your happiness is again divided into pieces :-)
It became my hobby to search for my 'pork neck'. I am not a butcher but YouTube can help to answer the question: How to butcher a pig head to tail but sad: If you search with this English keywords, you can't find the European way to cut a pig. It seems to me, only the German and maybe few neighboring countries are cutting a pig that way to have the neck as a single piece. Cutting half a pig on the table will go like this in Germany: Removing the head first, then removing the ham, cutting of the front leg including the shoulder blade, cutting the ribs by 4 inch along the spine and now comes the important cut for the neck: cut between rib 6 and 7 to the spine and divide it there. THIS is the 'Pork neck' like the German cut it. In America, this part is divided while cutting away the 'Boston butt'.
Once we decided to visit the Public market really early in the morning. We left the house already by 7:00 a.m. and arrived at the market maybe by 7:30 a.m. and it shows to us: This is the best time to find, what we are looking for. We could really find a whole pig there hanging. Wow! My chance to ask for my neck. I explained with help from Tess, what we wanted to have but we learned our lesson when it comes to the payment: 1 kg pork was normally 185 PHP that day. But they charged Tess and me 235 PHP because we ask for a 'Special cut'. And it was not exactly the way how I wanted to have the cut but OK. I can learn too! ;-)