Recipe by evelyn/athens
From Spices of Life: Simple and Delicious Recipes for Great Health by Nina Simonds. Ayurvedic doctors believe cinnamon harmonizes the flow of circulation in the body, aids digestion, and reduces nausea.
Top Review by Sydney Mike
Made this for some neighbors who were in need of some good food, & did they ever get it with this pork dish! OUTSTANDING in prep, taste, the whole bit! I did manage a serving for myself, & I really liked the cinnamon & ginger flavors, combining so well, as they did, with the others! All made for an unusual & wonderful experience at the table! Definitely one I want to make again just for myself! [Made & reviewed for the Asia part of the World Tour 4]
- 2 lbs boneless pork butt, trimmed of excess fat and gristle (shoulder can also be used)
- 2 1⁄2 teaspoons olive oil or 2 1⁄2 teaspoons canola oil
- 6 whole scallions, ends trimmed, cut into 1-1/2-inch lengths, and smashed lightly with the flat side of a knife
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed lightly with the flat side of a knife, peeled, and sliced thin
- 6 slices fresh ginger, about the size of a quarter, smashed lightly with the flat side of a knife
- 1 teaspoon chili paste
- 2 -3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 whole star anise, smashed or 1 teaspoon anise seed
- 4 cups water
- 1⁄2 cup soy sauce
- 1⁄4 cup rice wine or 1⁄4 cup sake
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds) or 4 yams, peeled and cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes (about 2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons minced scallion tops (to garnish)
Directions See How It's Made
- Cut the pork into 1-1/2-inch cubes.
- Heat the oil until very hot in a 4-quart casserole or a Dutch oven with a lid. Add half the pork pieces. Sear the outside of half the pork over high heat until brown, turning once. Remove and sear the remaining meat. Set aside.
- Reheat the pan and oil, add the Seasonings. Stir-fry until fragrant, about 15 seconds, then add the Braising Mixture. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Add the pork, bring the liquid to a boil, and reduce the heat to low. Let simmer, covered, for 35 to 40 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes, stir, cover, and continue cooking for about 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Serve the pork and potatoes atop a bed of blanched or steamed greens, with some of the braising mixture spooned on top and accompanied by steamed rice.
- Note: Chinese cinnamon, or cassia, has been used by Asian doctors for thousands of years. It is considered to be especially soothing to the stomach.