Fragrant Cinnamon Pork With Sweet Potatoes

Recipe by evelynathens
READY IN: 2hrs 5mins


  • 2
    lbs boneless pork butt, trimmed of excess fat and gristle (shoulder can also be used)
  • 2 12
    teaspoons olive oil or 2 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
  • Seasonings
  • 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
  • 1
    whole star anise, smashed or 1 teaspoon anise seed
  • Braising Mixture
  • 4
    cups water
  • 12
  • 14
    cup rice wine or 1/4 cup sake
  • 2
    tablespoons sugar
  • To finish
  • 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)


  • 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.