This is my mum’s best classic, comforting winter dinner dish and a firm family favourite. It fills the house with an incredibly enticing, warming fragrance from the star anise, cinnamon and orange, and reminds me of the happiest moments of my childhood. The pork is stewed until incredibly tender, so that the fat just melts in the mouth and the meat is worthy of ‘pulling’ pork status. The ribs are a treat for those who aren’t into pork fat (i.e. crazy people, and my sister).
- 1 kilo pork belly piece, with bone
- zest & juice of 2 oranges
- 3 dried red chillies
- 2 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1/4 cup dark soy
- 1/4 xiao xing cooking wine (or dry sherry)
- peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
1. Cut pork into chunks of belly and ribs.
2. Heat a little peanut oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan.
3. Brown the ribs, fatty side down, then turn over and brown the other side. Remove.
4. Add the pork belly, spices and sauces and stir well.
5. Place the browned ribs on top of the belly.
6. Cover and simmer very gently for 2-3 hours, or until the pork meat is fall-apart tender.
7. Remove the meat to a dish, and increase heat.
8. Cook sauce until reduced and slightly sticky, then remove whole spices.
9. Return the meat to casserole dish and turn pieces around in the sauce to coat.
10. Serve with steamed white rice, stir-fried Chinese greens and topped with fresh coriander.
I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as we do! If there’s any pork leftover (which is highly unlikely) it can be turned into crispy pork and Chinese broccoli stir-fry, aka pad pak kana moo grob. It’s that pork that just keeps on giving.