Friday, February 11, 2011

Chinese Pork with Chestnuts by Tom

Chinese Pork with Chestnuts by Tom

International night again at our household.  This time I thought I would try something with a Chinese theme...actually Taiwanese.  I used "Susanna Foo's Chinese Cuisine Cookbook" and found an interesting recipe which feature braised pork and chestnuts.  I like chestnuts but had actually never cooked with them.  So I thought why not try it.  This dish is very tender and quite tasty.  Worth a try.

            ---Tom

Ingredients
  Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 1" piece of ginger root, peeled and minced
1 1/2 pounds boneless pork roast, cut into 1" cubes
1/4 cup brandy
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon hot curry powder
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup chicken stock
~2 cups or one jar of cooked and peeled chestnuts
Over medium-high heat, heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or casserole that has a tight fitting lid.  When the oil is hot, add the garlic and ginger root and cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly.  The garlic should be golden colored when completed.
Next add the cubed pork and continue to cook until the meat is browned on all sides.
Add the brandy, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Now add the curry powder, coconut milk, salt, brown sugar, and chicken stock.  Cover tightly and simmer for at least 45 minutes.  It is okay to go a little longer, but do check the liquid level from time to time to make sure that the meat is not sticking and burning.  If it is, add a little more chicken stock.  I found that there was actually plenty of liquid and never did need to add any more.

Next add the chestnuts and continue simmering for another 30 minutes.  Near the end of the cooking time, check both the meat and chestnuts for tenderness.  If they are still a little tough, cook a little longer.  The longer this cooks the more tender the meat.
I served the meal with jasmine rice and sauteed green beans.  An easy Chinese meal for international night!
      --Tom

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