Slow cooked pork with Northern Thai/ Burmese flavours
Cooked over 5 hours, the normally intense flavours soften into the meat, developing a rich, warm, caramelised symphony of deliciousness that will strike awe into the hearts of your guests! Again, based on our Red Curry Paste, the preparation is fairly straight forward once you have this sorted.
This recipe started off as a more utilitarian version based upon a dish common to Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. It uses Burmese curry powder, lots of ginger, tamarind and palm sugar and is typically cooked with bite sized chunks of pork belly or other fatty cut. This version was a product of a cook off between myself and one of my best friends, Eamon. He’s an excellent cook and has a totally different repertoire to me, far more in the European style. I wanted to take my experience in Thai food and fuse it with an Italian style of slow cooked pork, as I’ve had excellently prepared at his place many a time. The results were spectacular. You definitely want this one in the repertoire when in need of a favour or what to create a great impression.
- 1-1.2kg piece of pork belly or shoulder ( you can also use a leg of lamb or beef brisket)
- 2 tablespoons of red curry paste
- 2 teaspoons of Burmese or Indian curry powder
- 2 cups of stock
- 3 tablespoon of palm sugar + 1 or two additional tablespoons
- 3 tablespoons of tamarind liquid
- 4 tablespoons / ½ a cup of julienned (matchstick size) young ginger
- 1-3 tablespoons of fish sauce (depending on how salty your stock is if this is used)
- 1 large bunch of Chinese Broccoli
- Cut the skin and top layer of fat and thin layer of meat below this off the top of the meat. Score this in a cross hatch pattern and rub a little of the red curry paste into it, just enough to stain it. Add lots of salt on top and then roast under the grill. I can’t really tell you too much more about this as I didn’t do this bit. Ask Eamon or look it up!
- Rub the trimmed meat with the curry paste, sprinkling the curry powder over the top and mixing this in. Place this in a baking tray with a gap of about 4 or 5 cms around it.
- Cut up the palm sugar into fine pieces, using the flat of the knife to pulverise it into powder. Add this and the tamarind to the baking tray, along with the fish sauce. Rub all of this into the pork
- Cut up the ginger and sprinkle this over the pork on all sides. Pour in stock, then wrap the entire dish tightly with aluminium foil, sealing it it
- Cook at about 140 C for 5 hours. During this time, check it a bit, basting the pork with the liquid before re-sealing with foil
- As it approaches being done, you will notice that the pork becomes very soft, with the fibres pulling apart easily.
- About 30 minutes from when you figure it will be done, remove the foil from the pork. Make a little glaze from some additional palm sugar and some of the liquid from the baking tray.
- Baste this over the top of the pork repeatedly in the last half hour of cooking. During this time, the liquid in the tray should start to caramalise and condense into a sticky sauce. The Pork should also become quite dark and shiny from the glaze, almost black.
- Around this time, start to boil a large pot of water for the Chinese Broccoli
- Once the pork is done, remove from oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes, during which time… plunge the hard stalks of theChinese Broccoli into the water and cook for about 3-4 minutes. After that, push the leaves down into the boiling water and blanch for around a minute. Remove and drain. Place on your serving platter
- Place the pork on top of the Chinese Broccoli. Collect the sauce from the baking pan and drizzle this around the pork.
- Serve with some additional jasmine rice if you like