Braised Asian pork

I’d been thinking about making a braised Asian pork dish for some time without finding a convincing recipe or feeling enough confidence to just wing it when I stumbled upon what seemed to be THE perfect combination while browsing the net on a cold Sunday morning just about a year ago.  Bookmarked.

But after lunch when I went back to check the recipe, it was hidden behind a firewall and the website said that I now needed to log in to get the full recipe…  Since my meat was ready to go I decided I remembered enough to wing it the rest of the way, and the results were epic.

The pork is gently braised with aromatics for several hours.  Then you transfer the meat to a roasting pan and glaze it to get a bit of a crusty exterior.  It is served with the broth from the braising along with rice and sautéed greens. I like either Swiss chard or bok choy sautéed with a little sesame oil and a lot of garlic.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

This meal is definitely a project.  It requires a long braise and a few manipulations at the end which makes it a perfect undertaking on a cold weekend in February.  Trust me, it is worth it.

Braising the meat requires:

  • A 1 kg piece of pork loin blade roast, nicely tied (serves 4)
  • 1 small piece of cinnamon stick
  • 6-7 whole star anise pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 head of garlic
  • A  2 inch piece of ginger, sliced
  • About 10 cilantro roots with stems, tied
  • Salt
The glaze:
  • 2 tbsp Hoisin
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp sriracha
To serve:
  • Jasmine rice
  • Sautéed  greens such as Swiss chard or bok choy
Heat the oven to 325º.  Place the aromatic spices in an oven-proof pot just a bit bigger than the pork roast.  Sprinkle the roast generously with salt and add it to the pot.  Fill it with water so 2/3 of the pork is submerged, then cover.  Bring it to a simmer an put it in the oven.  Gently braise for three hours, turning the pork every hour or so and making sure that it is always at least half submerged.

 

Remove from the oven and turn up the heat to 400º.  Strain the broth into a smaller pot and skim off some of the fat.  Taste and add 1 to 2 tbsp soy sauce.  Transfer the pork to a roasting pan and make the glaze by mixing all the ingredients.  Brush a thick layer of glaze on to the meat and put it in the oven.  You can now start your rice and prep your greens.  Roast for 10 minutes, then brush on a second layer and roast for another 10 minutes or so, until your rice and greens are ready.  During this time, bring the broth to a simmer.  When ready, take out the roast, remove the strings and discard them.  In bowls, serve chunks of pork with rice and wilted greens with a ladle or two of broth.

 

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