I’ve leaped into the slow-cooker world over the past few weeks and tested out my second recipe this weekend: an Asian-style pork dish from the Food Network Web site.
I could have went for a traditional pot roast, brisket, or stew, but I wanted lots of flavor, and maybe something a little unusual… and this dish exceeded my expectations.
I started out with pork shoulder (though they called it pork butt at the store—yeesh, I can’t keep up with these butcher terms!) Then I rubbed the meat with Chinese five spice powder. Next, I built up a braising liquid of soy sauce and chicken stock and added some sweetness. Then I piled on the aromatics: garlic, ginger, scallions, and even some shitake mushrooms.
The pork bathed in the cooker for hours and the end result was divine. With that much fatty, buttery pork it’s hard to know how one could go wrong, but I was impressed. I cut up the pork and served it over fat egg noodles and asparagus with a splash of the (strained) cooking liquid and a garnish of scallions.
The flavors remind me of a yummy spare-rib stew that I’ve tried in Malaysia (bak kut teh).
In general, I’m not a huge five-spice powder fan (cinnamon, anise, and cloves just shout “DESSERT” to me) but it’s not overwhelming here. The sweet spicy smell will fill your house as the dish cooks, but it doesn’t overpower the dish.
The spouse said the sauce with noodles could be served alone without meat the flavors are so good. If I make this again, I would peel the garlic and ginger so the sauce doesn’t have to be strained since those little flavor chunks don’t bother me.