January 25, 2009

Stewed Pork Belly! Part two!

OK!  So.  Here's the cut of meat.  Pork Belly.  Proto-Bacon.  I got mine from the Chinese supermarket.

You also need a fair knob of ginger, some garlic and some star anise.  

The ginger and the garlic get chopped up and thrown in some heating oil with the anise.  Anise gets left whole, but will eventually break down.  You just want it to remain as whole as possible so you don't bite into it later.

While waiting for the flavors to infuse into the oil, I chop up the belleh.

I think I would cut it a big larger next time as it shrinks down a lot as the fat renders.  (...yeah.  There's.  a lot of fat.  Proto-bacon!)

Brown the pork in the gingery garlicky oil.

This is the wrong kind of cooking wine.  You want Chinese cooking wine or shaoxing or something like that.  Usually comes in squarish containers.  I.  was impatient and had run out.  You want about half a cup of that, half a cup of dark soy and a few tablespoons of oyster sauce.  and a tablespoon or so of sugar.  Brown rock sugar is proper, but I don't usually have that around.  Adjust to taste.  

 Add this to the pork.  Add water until just to the top of the pork.

I threw this into the oven at 225 and did some gardening.  Three or four hours later I came back and put it on the stove to reduce down for another couple of hours.  You wind up with this.

So shiny.  So bad for you.  It should be rich, not fatty tasting, and a little sweet.  The fat should have pretty much come out on top and leaves behind all the ... stuff that's not fat.  Now if you want to do this the long way, you can put this in the fridge, chip off the fat, and warm it up to eat.  But if you're us, and impatient, you skim off the fat, put it in the freezer, chip off the fat and add the gelled sauce back into the rest of the pot.  The fat is pretty solid.

We made congee, or rice soup.  It became kind of a nail soup situation where Dan brought leftover tilapia, I snipped garlic scapes from the garden and we threw in some dried shitake mushrooms and leftover chicken stock.  The basic deal is just take leftover rice, boil it with water until it becomes a thick soup.


Also fried up some premade turnip cake and chive flowers from the market and had a nice traditional dinner.

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