Braised pork with water chestnuts
Photo: WILLIAM MEPPEM
Salty and sweet balance each other out in this sticky Chinese pork dish.
- 1/2 cup oyster sauce
- 1/4 cup grated palm sugar
- 1 long red chilli, sliced into rounds
- 290g can water chestnuts, drained and quartered
- 1kg pork neck
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- steamed rice and Asian greens, to serve
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Place the oyster sauce, palm sugar, chilli, water chestnuts and 500ml water in a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil over a high heat then reduce to medium-low to simmer until the sugar has dissolved.
Place the pork neck into a deep casserole dish just large enough to hold the piece of pork, and pour the oyster sauce mixture over the meat. Cover with foil and cook for 2-3 hours, turning every half hour (you may need to add extra water if the liquid reduces too much). Remove foil and cook for a further 20-30 minutes, or until the meat is tender and the sauce has reduced. Check seasoning.
Slice the pork and serve with steamed rice and Asian greens.
Serve coconut rice or plain steamed rice with the braised pork. To make coconut rice, replace 1/4 of the water needed for cooking plain rice with coconut milk.
Stir-fried Asian greens or steamed greens with oyster sauce would round out the meal.
Bamboo shoots or lotus root also work well as a garnish.
Something to Drink: Riesling with the braised pork, try the 2010 Wolfberger Riesling ($22), from Alsace in the north-east corner of France. It's luscious, with ripe-apricot, peach and citrus notes. The touch of residual sugar on the palate balances the chilli; the acidity leaves the palate fresh.
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