Jan 15, 2013

Shirazine Roast Pork

God, how we love pork! As a child I ate pork in the processed form, dad and I would buy a half kilo of salami and eat most of it on the way home and we did exactly that when we visited the same store last month, 30 odd years of cold cuts in the car! We didn't really cook pork meat at home, the first vindaloo I ate (at your place, Mora!) was rabbit, so pork came into my kitchen back in Manipal. At college, we cooked with pork and since I married into a part Goan family while still in college, we cooked it at home too! I loved the texture, the bite, the meaty sweetness and over the years we have moved on from Goan influences to Asian pork dishes and its a whole new, wondrous world of good eating! One of friend's cooks used to make this one Coorgi pepper pork curry that I still make, Ooooh, deja vu, I think I've blogged that curry somewhere... yup - http://www.theshirazine.com/2010/09/shirazi-pepper-pork.html

Coming back to Asian spices and pork, what a gorgeous relationship they have?! The pork gets amazingly enhanced and the slow cooking/braising process is ideal to trap in all the juices and keep the meat soft and flavoursome. This recipe is great because it needs minimal handling, just let the meat be, simmering away! There is a huge smack of spices here so I serve it with cold, crispy lettuce sprinkled with sea salt, EVOO and lemon juice and white rice.


1/2 kg pork chunks, I take it  on the bone, but the butcher knows I prefer less bone-y bits, so all in all its a 70/30 of boneless/on the bone. The bone adds a lot of fat and flavour, I say add a bone separately if you are cooking boneless meats.

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

2 star anise

2 black cardamom

6 green cardamom

6 cloves

2 bayleaf

4 whole red chillies

1 Cinnamon stick

6 cloves of garlic, 8 if they are small bits

2 large red onions thinly sliced

4 tbsp Olive oil or cooking oil

1 tbsp Chinese Five Spice powder

2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp black pepper powder


2 cups warm water

Coat the pork with the white wine vinegar and set aside. Heat oil in a pressure cooker, its the heaviest bottomed pan I have in my kitchen. Add 2 cloves of garlic when the oil is hot and then the meat. Sear the meat on a  high flame tills its no longer pink and browning evenly. Remove from the oil and keep covered in a bowl. Throw in the rest of the garlic, onions and the whole spices, fry on high for few minutes, then lower the heat and brown the onions. Depending on how fatty the pork you are using is, you may need to add a little oil to brown the onions well or you can throw in a piece of fat to get the flavour going. Once the onions are soft and transparent, add the meat, the sugar and the salt and pepper. Mix well, cover with a heavy lid and cook on low for 10 minutes, keep an eye on the meat though, you will need to add 1/2 cup of warm water after 10 minutes or sooner if the meat is sticking to the base. Cook for another 20 minutes, then add the Five spice powder and another 1/2 cup of water. The moisture content should always be a thick sauce consistency not runny, gravy. Another 20 minutes after the last 1/2 cup, check the meat for readiness, it should be pretty soft by now. Give it another 10 if not, add little water if you need to, check the salt and the five spice flavour and adjust accordingly. This should taste heaty from the spices and sweet-ish as well. When the meat is done, you can adjust the amount of sauce/gravy you need. The flavours are very strong so you won't need it very thin, goes great with white rice. Enjoy!