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This is a traditional Chinese one-pot dish we've eaten in my family for years, which is very simple to prepare. You can leave out the Szechuan peppercorns if you can't get hold of them. Hung Shao Pork
- 1 lb lean belly pork strips, chopped into postage stamp sized squares if you like but it's not really necessary. (Other cheap cuts of pork are also good; try the hock. And leave the skin on; it goes gelatinous and)
- 4 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- to taste oyster sauce, one big splodge
- 1 inch fresh gingerroot, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise
- 1 teaspoon szechuan peppercorns, dry fried
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1⁄2 cup sherry wine (optional)
- 1 pinch msg (if, like me, you have no shame. Just please don't mention this to my mother.) (optional)
- Stir-fry ginger and garlic in a big casserole dish.
- Place pork in, skin down.
- (Pluck it with tweezers first if it bears an unhealthy resemblance to your husband's back). Add everything else and a couple of cups of water.
- Cover and simmer over a very low heat for an hour.
- Turn the pork over.
- Simmer again for an hour.
- Fish the meat out and put it in a bowl.
- Reduce sauce a bit, taste, and add more soy/oyster sauce if you think it's needed.
- Strain through a sieve, pour over meat and enjoy.
- I like to leave the meat, covered with the sauce, in the fridge for at least 24 hours before eating; the flavours intensify to a surprising extent. (It's also easier to remove fat from the top at this stage, when it's set.) Serve with rice; it's also good in sandwiches.
- (The cold sauce turns into a delicious jelly.)