I am starting to worry - black cats are hanging around my house, and I think warts are developing on the end of my nose .....
Could it be all the simmering and bubbling that is going on here?
We had sport again last night - so dinner was another one pot, simmer, dinner winner!!!
Vietnamese Style Caramel Pork
1 tbs oil (I used rice bran)
2 red onions, halved and cut into thin wedges
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup boiling water
900g diced pork (I used a scotch fillet piece and diced it up)
900g pork rashers, cut into 3cm pieces
1/3 cup fish sauce
2-3 long red chillies *
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup chopped coriander
steamed jasmine rice to serve
Heat the oil in a large heavy based saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onion, and cook stirring for 4-5 minutes, or until the onions are soft. Transfer to a bowl.
Remove the pan from the heat and cool. (I actually ran the base of mine under cold water to cool it down.)
Add the sugar to the pan, and place it back over medium low heat. The sugar will begin to melt after about 4-5 minutes. BE PATIENT - it will happen!!! Once the sugar starts to melt, swirl the pan so that the sugar melts evenly. Try to take care though that you don't end up with too much undissolved sugar around the edges. DO NOT STIR!. When the sugar is melted and golden (and it will turn quite quickly once it starts - so be warned) remove the pan from the heat source - CAREFULLY add the boiling water (watch out it will spit and it will turn some parts to toffee - but that's ok). Stir until well combined and a rich sauce forms.
Add the pork, onions, fish sauce, chillies and stock to the caramel mixture. Bring to the boil. Stir well, making sure that any "toffee" parts are dissolving.
Reduce the heat to low, and cook for 2-3 hours. I cooked for 1 hour partially covered. Then 1 1/2 hours covered, then around 30 minutes uncovered to reduce the sauce down.
Season with pepper, and add the chopped coriander.
Serve with steamed jasmine rice.
* with the chillies - I halved the chillies and removed the seeds (this reduces the hotness - so if you like it a little hotter leave them in) - I only used 2 chillies. The dish was not spicy at all - and I even ate one of the whole pieces of chilli with my dish. They sort of caramelise and loose their heat in the cooking.
This recipe was only to be cooked for an hour - but as I was going out it was left to "bubble, bubble" a lot longer, and you know, what I think it actually made it the dish better - the pork was meltingly soft, and the fat had all rendered down. It is quite a rich dish (the sweetness and the fat) - but it is oh so yummy (in a very unhealthy way)!!
Ms. Twinkles this is one for you to try!!! I know you have a pork lover in your house!!! You may just need to up the number of chillies!!!
I promise we are not having another "cauldron dish" tonight!!
Tonight it's Mexican!