Monday, June 29, 2009
Red Cooked Pork - Girl with Red Ribbon - Ruby Tuesday
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...We call her "The Girl with Red Ribbons" and thought she was a fit subject for the Work of the Poet: Ruby Tuesday meme. She was a lovely child. The photograph was taken in an outdoor cafe in the Muslim quarter of Xi'an China. The call to prayer had interrupted her meal and she was fascinated by the stream of believers pouring into the mosque compound. Though the area was a Muslim enclave, the restaurants outside the mosque served an incredible array of food, including pork. Obviously, not all the merchants and visitors were Muslim, so it was only mildly surprising that red cooked pork was a popular item in the cafes. Today's recipe is for an incredibly good version of red cooked pork. When this is made with pork belly or not-to-lean pork ribs you have the makings of an unbelievably easy feast. My friends and teachers, Lily, at Lily's Wai Sek Hong, and Ning, at Heart and Hearth have wonderfully authentic recipes for this great entree. Here's my westernized version of the classic.
Red Cooked Pork...from the kitchen at One Perfect Bite
1-1/2 pounds pork belly or boneless pork ribs cut into two inch cubes
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
3 cloves of garlic peeled
3 whole star anise
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup Shaoxing wine, mirin or dry sherry
1 can (14.5-oz.) reduced sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
Garnish: chopped scallions
1) Melt sugar in vegetable in a medium pot over medium high heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar is slightly brown, about 3 minutes. Add pork cubes to pan and cook in caramelized sugar until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes.
2) Place garlic, star anise, dark soy sauce, rice wine and broth in pot. Simmer, covered, over low heat for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer meat to a bowl and tent with foil. Boil sauce to reduce by half. Dissolve cornstarch in water and add to pan. Stir until sauce comes to a boil and begins to thicken. Return meat to pan. Toss in sauce until all surfaces are coated. Transfer to a platter, garnish with scallions and serve hot. Yield: 4 servings.