Spiced Chinese Pork with Spring Onions & Pak Choi

This is a Jason Atherton recipe that appeared in this month’s Good Food magazine.  There is quite a bit of work involved in the preparation, but believe me the end result is totally worth it!

To serve 6 here is what you will need.

For the pork:

  • 1.25 kg pork belly – in 1 piece or I used strips which worked really well too.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small leek, finely chopped
  • 1/2 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic bulb, halved
  • 2 star anise
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • small handful each bay leaves and parsley stalks, tied together
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 600 ml white wine
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 150 ml soy sauce
  • 400 ml beef stock
  • 400 ml chicken stock
  • 85 g muscovado sugar

For the vegetables:

  • about 3 – 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bunches spring onions, ends trimmed
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 280 g baby Pak Choi, halved lengthways
  • Splash Soy sauce
  • Handful Coriander leaves

Method:

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large, heavy-based pan.  Add the pork and fry on each side for about 3 minutes until browned, lifting occasionally to make sure meat isn’t sticking. Transfer to large, deep casserole dish.

Strips of Pork Belly

Heat another 1 tbsp oil in the same pan – add the leek, carrot, onion and garlic and fry until caramelised (about 5 minutes).  Stir in spices, herb bundle and tomato puree.  Continue to stir fry until caramelised.  Pour in wine, bring to boil, reduce to syrupy sauce about 15 – 20 minutes.Sauce for sticky slow cooked pork

Heat oven to 180c/160c fan/Gas 4.  Stir the honey and soy into the reduced sauce, and boil for 3 minutes.  Add both stocks, pour over the pork to cover.  Braise in the oven for 2.5 – 3 hours until very tender. Remove from oven and set aside for 30 minutes to cool a little. (Or you can cook ahead, leave to coll, then chill, which makes it easier to slice.)

When ready to serve, remove pork from liquid.  Strain stock mixture into a large frying pan.* Stir in the muscovado sugar, gently heat through until the sugar has dissolved.  Bring to the boil and boil for 20 – 25 minutes, or until reduced to a saucy glaze.  Cut pork into thick slices.  Set meat and sauce aside.

For the vegetables, heat a griddle pan to hig.  Rub 1 tbsp oil all over the spring onions, lay them on the hot griddle.  Sprinkle with a little sea salt.  Cook for about 3 minutes on each side until tender and marked.  Meanwhile heat the remaining oil in a wok, add the garlic and briefly fry to soften.  Stir-fry the pak choi for 3 – 4 minutes. Then splash in a little soy sauce.

To serve, heat the pork slices with a little of the sauce in a large deep frying pan until slightly caramelised, then add the rest of the sauce and heat through.  Lay the pork slices on 1 – 2 serving plannters, coat with a little of the sauce, then scatter the onions, pak choi and coriander over the top with a drizzle more sauce.

Sticky Pork served in blue and white dish on red placemat

Serve with garlic rice (cook rice, season then stir in 4 finely sliced, crisp-fried garlic cloves), and remaining sauce separately.

Sticky Pork with garlic rice on white plate* I cheated a bit here – as it was just for the 2 of us – I didn’t go to the bother of straining! This worked fine for us, but for presentation/dinner party I would definitely strain.

I know this sounds complicated but it is worth it…. try it and let us know how you get on?

And here are some wine suggestions from Ian Dornan at Simply Wines:

Asian cooking doesn’t really have a tradition of matching food with wine and sometimes the best wines for Asian foods may very well be the more untraditional grapes or blends.

For those that prefer white wine I’d suggest trying either a Chenin Blanc or a Riesling such as our Woolloomooloo Chenin Verdelho Chardonnay blend or our Pirie South Tasmanian Riesling.

For those that like their red wines, it’s important to select a wine where the tannins are moderated enough so that they don’t taste bitter in relation to sweet, sour, salty or spicy sauces, yet retain enough tannin to digest meat fats. I’d suggest either our Bricco dei Guazzi Barbera or our International Wine Challenge Gold Medal winning Paxton AAA Shiraz Grenache

One Response to Spiced Chinese Pork with Spring Onions & Pak Choi

  1. Alfie. says:

    The taste is superb rich, slightly sweet and smokey. this would also work brillantly with diced pork.or Porkshanks/knuckles. Alternativly make the sauce reduce it slightly and use it with pork ribs.

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