Saturday, September 11, 2010
A taste of the countryside
Recipe #26: stewed pork butt with garden vegetables
My mother has rarely purchased pork butt. She has noticed that the meat is rather tough, and not tender enough. Recently, she saw some pork butt (some of which were of black pork variety) at a supermarket, and it was only there some of the time. It was more expensive than regular pork, but she neverthelesss decided to try it.
Ever since then, she has made many dishes that use black pork. This type of pork butt is especially tender.
Our garden has produced a lot of celery, small tomatoes (cherry, grape and per-shaped yellow ones) and zucchinis. She wanted to use the available vegetables to make a dish. Unlike what we had imagined, it was delicious!
My mother is a GENIUS!!!
1. 2 lb. pork butt
2. 1 medium-sized onion, sliced
3. garlic (4-5 cloves for large, 7-8 for small)
4. 4 stalks of celery
5. 3 c. small tomatoes
6. Zucchini (optional)
7. 1 c. sponge fried tofu (optional)
8. Salt and pepper to taste
9. 2 Tbsp. oil
1. Cut pork butt into 1" x 1" chunks.
2. Rub salt and pepper onto pork pieces so that all of them are covered.
3. Heat oil in a saucepan and put pork in.
4. Lightly fry the pork on high heat.
5. When golden-brown, flip the pork. Using this method, cook until all sides are golden grown.
6. Remove pork and put into a 4-qt. pot.
7. Using remaining oil, saute the onion on medium-high heat. After 2-3 minutes, add garlic. When until onions are half-soft and have a slightly caramelized color, place vegetables into pot with pork.
8. Add water to pot until it just covers the pork. When pot boils, let it simmer for about an hour.
9. Remove the tough fibers from the celery and cut stalks an an angle with 1" thickness.
10. Turn heat back to high, and add tofu, zucchini, celery and tomatoes. When the mixture boils again, let it simmer for another 30 minutes.
11. Add salt and turn off heat.
1. Normal pork is deep-fried to seal the surface so that the juices are retained. However, this makes the outer meat too hard. My mother uses a normal amount of oil to seal the meat, so that it is tender but will not fall apart.
2. Since we use freshly-picked vegetables from our garden, it is so perfect that we needn't add anything other than salt. However, if you use vegetables from the supermarket, it won't taste the same, in which case you can add pepper, chicken base or herbs (such as bay leaves).
3. Since we use a lot of tomatoes, the tingy taste cancels out the richness.
4. Zucchini is optional; it does not change the taste too much. But don;t use too much of it.
5. As for the tofu, there are two reasons for using it: 1. my mother sometimes eats a vegetarian lunch, and the sponge tofu is a good source of protein, and 2) the juicy taste of fried tofu will imrpove the taste of the dish. This is why we don't need any other condiments.