Braised Pork in Brown Sauce with Hawthorn
Braised pork in brown sauce is an authentic Chinese dish. My family likes to cook braised pork with potatoes. The dish may taste a little bit fatty (but not greasy if you cook well), you can choose to add some vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots or celery to absorb the fat. Of course, pork is not considered a kind of healthy meat, especially when you cook fat pork meat like this recipe. But, it doesn’t hurt to try once a while. Braised pork is rich in collagen, which can help to maintain skin elasticity! If you are still hesitant to try, it’s okay! Just think about this, everything in the universe is running in a balanced way. Being balanced is a wisdom that can be applied to every aspect of our life, including the food we eat. Still not interested? Let’s dig into the culture behind this dish.
It is also called “DongPo’s braised pork” in China. “DongPo” is the family name of DongPo Su, a litterateur in Song Dynasty. DongPo was born in 1037. Now you may wonder how was DongPo related to this traditional Chinese dish? He was not a chef, way far from it!
The story began like this. When the West Lake in Hangzhou was annihilated by a bulk of turnip grass, he launched a project to work on the turnip fields, dig up the mud and built a causeway. As a result, the West Lake could store water again for irrigation. It was listed as the first of the Ten Views of the West Lake. After that, people living in the area wanted to show appreciation for what he had done to help them. They know Dong Po loves Braised pork, so they all sent pork to his home. In the end, DongPo received a lot of pork. He called his family to cut the meat into cubes and cook the pork according to his instruction. Then his family sent the pork to every household. It tasted really delicious!
DongPo originally asked his family to “send together with wine”. But they thought he meant “cooking together with wine.” Surprisingly, this new cooking method became very popular in the area.
The recipe I want to share this time is a little bit creative. We will use hawthorn instead of vegetables. Hawthorn tastes sweet and sour, so it will definitely add some unique flavor to it! Ready? Let’s start!
Hawthorn: 5-6 pieces
Soy sauce: 3 tablespoons
Cooking wine, 1 tablespoon
Sugar: according to taste
Five-spice powder: according to taste
Salt: according to taste
- Soak the pork in cold water in a pot. When it’s boiled, remove and cut into small cubes.
- Cut green onions and ginger. Wash the hawthorn.
- Turn on the heat to medium level. Do not add oil to the pan. Stir-fry the pork until its surface turns golden brown. Pour out the oil coming out of the pork.
- Add green onions, ginger, a little five-spice powder, a tablespoon of cooking wine, stir well. Then add Hawthorn and continue to stir-fry.
- Add soy sauce. If you prefer darker coloring, you can use dark soy sauce. Stir-fry and add some water.
- Simmer for about 40 minutes; add sugar and salt according to your taste. Then continue to cook for 20 minutes.
- Finally the soup becomes thicker. It’s ready to serve!