Saturday, March 01, 2008

A Very Kosher Dinner

Well, not really...

I treated myself to "Pork Breast" lat night, which is pretty much pork belly with a bit of rib attached. Definitely not kosher, but definitely terrific.

I followed Chez Pim's advice and made myself a personalized 5 spice mixture. Cassia bark, star anise, coriander, Szechuan pepper corns, cloves, black pepper corns & a couple of dried chilis, toasted off in a pot, gently crushed, threw in the breast, added water to almost cover, and gently braised with a closed lid for about 3 hours.

What makes mine different is that I smeared a darkly carmelized homemade quince/orange marmalade onto the skin, and with the heat it slowly melted and dripped down the sides, adding a sweet bitterness to the meat that helped to balance out the richness of it.

Once the meat was meltingly soft, I carefully removed it from the braising liquid, added a generous slug of dark soy sauce and reduced the liquid down to a sticky sauce that lightly glazed the sliced meat.

I served it on a bed of steamed rice, with a spinach & iceberg salad dressed with a sharp oil, wine vinegar & lemon dressing, with some finely chopped raw onions on the side to give a bit of bite to the pork.

Not alot of work for alot of reward!


Lisa said...

How funny: I was just looking at Pim's blog before I surfed over to yours!

That dish looks and sounds fantastic. Where did you buy the pork, by the way?

aja said...

Hey Lisa,
This time around the pork was from a very Russian grocery store almost in Holon - 246 Jerusalem Blvd. to be precise. I happened to be in the government offices there, walked by & smelled all sorts of smoked-meaty smells coming from inside. I was rather impressed by their selection of smoked stuff, and their butcher section had some good quality stuff. My usual "non-kosher" supplier is Aviv Market in the Carmel market, and have had good success there.

My only change to this would be to add the soy sauce at the beginning, to help add flavour to the meat. But overall, it was very yummy. If you try it, let me know how it works out for you. (I also think some fresh ginger would be good)

Lisa said...

I was thinking about fresh ginger, too. And maybe some sliced scallions at the end..?

aja said...

Hey Lisa,
Absolutely scallions. Also, for a more Thai take you could use some fresh coriander at the end (I did that with some leftovers mixed with rice & steamed baby bok choi on the side)