Submitted by Michelle
After the bounty of Thanksgiving, I always enjoy a meal that is opposite in flavor. Usually I opt for Italian food; something involving spicy sausage and a hearty red sauce. This year, upon the recommendation of my friend Eileen, I decided to try an Asian dish. I don't often cook Asian foods. They tend to require lots of ingredients, many of which I do not have in my pantry. However, Eileen raved about the dish so much that I had to give it a try.
The recipe comes from Anne Burrell of Food TV fame. She has worked with Mario Batali, one of my favs, so I felt confident about the recipe. The recipe involves pork shoulder, which is an inexpensive cut of meat. Always nice to have a recipe that is easy on the budget. The pork is braised in a delicious brown sauce consisting of these all-stars:
Chicken broth, fresh orange rind and juice, rice vinegar, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sambal oelek (red chili paste), fresh ginger, garlic, and star anise.
Once the meat is browned, the braising liquid comes together quite easily. The meat is added back to the liquid and cooked for 2 hours in the oven.
When the meat is cooked and falling apart, it is removed and the braising liquid is the reduced down to a thick, syrupy sauce. Mmmmm, good!
Serving everything atop a bed of Jasmine rice was Eileen's idea. The entire meal was delectable and entirely worth all the chopping and grating. In general, I find that cooking Asian food at home isn't very hard, it just requires a lot of prep work.