Tag Archives: Pork

Braised Pork with Fennels

For 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 2 1/2 lb boneless pork shoulder/butt (tied)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, cut into slivers
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 big leek stalk, cut in half lengthwise, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1 fat fennel with fronds
  • 1 cup hard cider
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds, toasted
  • 1 bay leave
  • 1 tbsp fleur de sel
  • salt and cracked black pepper

Recipe:

  1. Cut small slits evenly all over the surface of the pork, insert a sliver of garlic into each slit  (1/4″ deep slit about 1″ apart), rub in salt and cracked black pepper
  2. Heat 1 1/2 tbsp oil in a large enameled iron pan, brown the pork well over medium heat, about 10 mins on all sides. Take it out and place it somewhere else to keep warm
  3. Preheat oven to 325 F
  4. Add 1/2 tbsp oil to the same pan and sautee the carrots and leeks till tender, about 3 mins. Pour in hard cider to bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a high simmer and cook till the cider is reduced to 1/2 cup
  5. Bring pork back into the pan, pour the chicken broth over the meat. Stir to combine with the vegetable and cook till the liquid comes to a boil
  6. Turn off heat, add in the bay leaf and transfer the covered pot into oven, cook pork till melting tender, 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 hrs
  7. In the mean time, chop about 1 tbsp fennel fronds for garnish. Cut the fennel bulb lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices. Heat the remaining oil in a skillet and cook the fennel slices till browned on both sides
  8. Add the browned fennel slices to the braising pork during the last 20 mins of cooking
  9. Remove pot from the oven and carefully lift the fennel slices onto a serving platter
  10. Transfer the pork to a cutting board, let it rest and cool a bit
  11. Skim off fat from the sauce, and reduce the sauce to 1/2 cup, strain
  12. Slice the meat and arrange on a platter with the fennel, spoon sauce over and sprinkle with chopped fennel fronds
  13. Combine toasted fennel seeds and fleur de sel in a small serving bowl/dish, offer to be passed with the braised pork. Sprinkle a pinch if desired
  14. Bon appétit! ;)

Serving suggestions: WINE!!!!!!!

NOTES: VERY VERY tasty!!!!! 😀 The fennel seeds & salt combination is a must, it adds another layer of unique flavor to the already flavorful, super tender pork, just remember not to over salt-rub the pork shoulder/butt to begin with. Toasting fennel seeds simply means heating up a small, un-greased pan, put the seeds in,  briskly move the pan back and forth and stop when the seeds become fragrant and slightly dark brown.

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Filed under Main Dish

Pork with Water Chestnut & Mustard Green Stir Fry (荸荠雪里红炒肉)

For 2

Ingredients:

  • 7 fresh water chestnuts, peeled and sliced
  • 1 handfuls of sliced pork belly
  • 1/2 handful of diced preserved mustard greens
  • 1 tbsp of rice cooking wine
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • a pinch of sugar

Recipe:

  1. Heat up 1 tbsp of canola oil in a medium size non-sticking fry pan.
  2. Stir fry the pork bellies on medium-high heat till they are slightly pink in the center.
  3. Turn heat down to medium-low, stir in the diced mustard greens for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add 1 tbsp of rice cooking wine and the sliced water chestnuts
  5. Turn up heat to high, fervently STIR & MIX all the ingredients till water chestnuts turn 75% translucent, sprinkle in the salt and sugar
  6. Cook them for several minutes longer then turn off the heat.
  7. Bon appétit! ;)

Serving suggestions:  while warm with rice (any variety from white to mix-colored to brown), or with steamed buns, or with plain rice congee, or inside fluffy peking-duck buns, or …

NOTES: The light bulb finally came on today that pork belly is essentially bacon, so maybe I don’t hate bacon afterall and I can befriend with boys again, yay! 😀 There are several types of preserved mustard greens in the markets: the diced, fresh green colored one often in a plastic container (Xue Li Hong or 雪里红, a little crunchy and a little salty), or the packaged whole or half preserved one (Suan Cai or 酸菜, sour and salty), or the minced ones packaged in a bag or metal container (Zha Cai or 榨菜, salty and/or spicy). I used the first kind in my dish,  which is the least salty of the three. However, you may substitute any of the three for this dish, it would turn out brilliant! Just be careful with the amount of salt if you are using the latter two. MM insisted that I should use scallion and ginger while stir frying meat, I only gave in on adding some diced scallion while cooking the meat, but I don’t think it’s necessary. The fresh water chestnut was so crunchy, juicy and sweet that I think I could have skipped the pinch of sugar! On a redder note, cut my left ring finger while slicing the slimmy water chestnut, boo! But the dish turned out really yummy, I guess it was worth the sacrifice 😛

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Filed under Chinese, Main Dish