Friday, July 13, 2012

Double-Cooked Malaysian Pork With Herbs

This is a fairly simple recipe that derives much of it's flavor from the multistep cooking process of the pork (and don't fear the fish sauce!) Before you complain, I know "Malaysian pork" is kind of a strange deal given that much of the country is Muslim, but pork shoulder is always sold in giant chunks, so I end up having leftovers from previous recipes. I should note that the foundations of this dish came from an article by Zakary Pelaccio in this month's Bon Appetit. His Turmeric chicken wings recipe is amazing.

Double-Cooked Malaysian Pork With Herbs

1 lb pork shoulder cut in to 1" cubes
1 tbs fish sauce
2 tbs lime juice
1 tbs white wine (I used Korean cooking wine)
1 tbs palm sugar (sub in demerara if needed)
2 red chiles, seeded and diced (heat to taste, of course)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 ears corn, shucked
Lots of fresh cilantro, mint and basil (a couple handfuls) 
Cooked rice

1) Combine the fish sauce, lime juice, white wine, palm sugar, chiles and garlic in a bowl. Whisk until it's all blended together. 

2) Add pork and make sure it's all coated well. Marinate overnight, stirring occasionally.

3) Preheat the oven to 275. Place the pork in a small baking dish so that the the pork comfortably nestled together and is still coated in liquid (about 1" deep). Cover with a lid or foil and bake for 2.5 hours. This is a perfect time to take a nap, have some cuddle time with your significant other, or if they're off on vacation without you, to drink beer and play video games (meaning: getting called a menagerie of names by profane 12-year-olds who are better than you at the game for a bit.)

4) Pull the pork from the oven and empty all of it and the liquid in to a sauce pan. Run the heat at medium-low  and start to reduce down the liquid until it is syrupy, stirring as needed so that the bottom doesn't burn. This should take about 15-20 minutes. 

5) While the pork is finishing, cook the corn. The best way to cook it would be to lightly grill it so it had a lovely smokey flavor and still hold it's texture. But living in an apartment, I don't have a grill (and if i did it would probably set the overhanging roof on fire) so I just cut off all the kernels and blasted them in a heavy skillet for a few minutes over medium high heat to char them lightly. 

6) Once the sauce in the pork is reduced to a thick, glossy sauce, add the cooked corn. 

7) Serve the pork-corn mixture over rice and put a generous portion of fresh herbs on top. And don't forget the beer.

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