It is always fun to go to the Chinese superstore. Everything looks so fresh and exotic that your mind always races, thinking about all of the tasty meals, and you always end up with these unusual items in your cart: pork side, shiitake mushrooms, garlic stems and tamarind!
Pork side or belly, not to be mistaken with pork side ribs, is usually cured to give you bacon. In this recipe, it is slow-roasted with one bottle of white wine to give you one of the most delicious main dishes. The slow roasting process allows the flavours of the five spice rub to seep through the meat for the sweetest and the juiciest roasts. While keeping the meat moistened, a bed of shiitake mushrooms and Clementine oranges right underneath the pork side is also slow-roasted, diffusing their citrus and earthy aromas. Yum!
Tamarind is a fruit that I used to snack on when growing up in
Just perfect served with blanched green beans, fresh noodles –and glass of Symphony!
Ingredients for 4 servings:
2 pounds pork side
2 to 3 tablespoons 5-spice mix (Note: You can find it at any Chinese store or make it yourself by combining fennel seed, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper)
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon red peppercorn
Garlic stems (another find from the Chinese store)
6 Clementine oranges
1 cup shiitake mushrooms
1/2 cup cremini mushrooms
1 red pepper
1 bottle dry white wine
2 cup fresh tamarind
1 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to its maximum temperature.
- Finely crush the five spice mix, salt and red peppercorn in a mortar.
- Score the skin of the pork using a sharp knife.
- Rub the spice mixture into the cuts.
- Chop the garlic stems, slice the red pepper, mushrooms and oranges.
- Transfer fruit and vegetables into a baking dish and place the pork side on top.
- Drizzle with olive oil and put in the hot oven.
- After 10 mins, reduce the heat to 325 F and allow to roast for 1 hr.
- After that first hour, remove any excess fat from the dish and add about two thirds of the white wine.
- Roast for another 2 hrs, regularly basting the pork with the warm wine.
- One hour before serving, peel and place the tamarind pods in a small saucepan.
- Add water to the tamarind and let simmer for 30 mins over medium-high heat.
- Once the tamarind is loosened, transfer onto a sieve and press the pulp through. (Note: Rinse with hot water to recover more tamarind pulp and juice)
- Transfer the tamarind puree into the saucepan.
- Stir in the rest of the white wine, let simmer over medium heat, until reduced and season to taste.