“Pork”, said Mrs. Paleovirtus.
“Asian pork”, she added, for purposes of clarification.
“Casserole, if you please”, opined Paleovirtus Jr.
I asked the cat if he’d like to chuck his tuppenceworth in, but he just sat there, slow-blinking, which I took as a sign that he was happy enough with things as they were, probably because he had his own lamb and chicken dinner to fall back on.
So, an Asian pork casserole, eh?
Right you are then. I’ll see what I can do….
South East Asian Pork Casserole
- 1.5kg pork stewing meat
- 150g closed cap mushrooms, wiped clean and thickly sliced
- 1 small savoy cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
- 4 spring onions (scallions), thickly sliced
- 2 stalks celery, cut into 1 inch segments
- 2 stalks lemon grass, lightly bruised
- a 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns, lightly crushed
- 2 star anise
- 2 tbsp juniper berries, lightly bruised
- 2 tbsp Tianjin preserved vegetable
- 2 tsp 5 spice powder
- 6 dried red chillies
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- a good handful of fresh coriander (cilantro)
- fish sauce – see Notes
- sesame seed oil
- Place the mushrooms, spring onions (scallions), celery, lemon grass, ginger, garlic, Sichuan peppercorns, star anise, juniper berries, Tianjin preserved vegetable, 5 spice powder, dried red chillies, and salt and black pepper to taste in a large, lidded pot. Add about 1 litre of water. Bring up to a boil, drop don to a low simmer, and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes.
- Add the meat, and just enough hot water to cover. Return to a low simmer, and cook, covered, for 1 hour, stirring often.
- Add the shredded savoy cabbage, return to a low simmer, and cook, covered, for a further 30 minutes. The meat should now be fall-apart tender. If it isn’t, continue to cook until such time as the meat is done to your liking.
- When the meat is ready, remove the pan from the heat, and add the chopped fresh coriander (cilantro). Stir well.
- Serve, with a splash of fish sauce, and a drizzle of sesame seed oil.
Use a fish sauce that contains fish, water, and salt. You’re probably best looking in an Asian store for genuine Thai fish sauce, although if you’re in Britain Tesco’s own fish sauce fits the bill. I currently use Thanh Ha Phu Quoc.