And now for something completely different, it's time for a challenge...
Muse and I agreed that our next challenge should be to cook a dish that we enjoy - this could be a starter, a main course or a sweet/dessert. In my case, it is Hung Shao Pork. A lovely aromatic slow cooked pork dish, usually served as a starter for a dinner party (however, would equally be nice for a small main course or snack).
1 lb (450 g) lean belly pork, including the skin
4 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 level dessertspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 star anise
2 inch (5 cm) piece cinnamon stick, broken into shreds
1 level teaspoon caster sugar
3 tablespoons dry sherry
Please click HERE for a UK/US conversion table
First of all prepare the pork. What you need to do is cut it into 1 inch (2.5 cm) cubes, making quite sure that each piece still has the skin attached. You don't have to eat the skin, but its gelatinous properties are very important to the flavour of the finished dish.
Finely chop enough of the ginger root to fill a dessertspoon and shred the cinnamon stick.
Now arrange the pieces of pork, skin-side down, in the pan and sprinkle them with a little salt (only a small pinch) and then with the soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of water. Next add the chopped ginger, sprinkling it all around, popping in the star anise and the cinnamon as well.
Now cover the pan, turn on the heat and as soon as the juices start to simmer, turn the heat down to its lowest possible setting and cook the pork for 45 minutes.
After that turn the pieces of pork over on to their other side, sprinkle in the sugar and the sherry, then cover again and continue to cook very slowly for a further 45 minutes, turning the meat over once or twice more during that time. If needed, add a little more sherry and water to avoid cooking dry.
This dish is best accompanied with a small helping of rice or vegetables.
So, that completes my part of the challenge. As well as Muse and myself entering this little challenge, I would also like to open this up to you all. I would dearly love to know what your favourite dish is to cook. Please let me know when you post your recipe. I can assure you that I may well be tempted to try and cook a few of them :)
Cheerio for now,
By Graham Ettridge x