My usual application of pork is ribs. Its a fail-safe. Messy and fun to eat and of course my humans love it. This time though I was inspired to make a chinese inspired dish for lunch and my choice of cut was a pork shoulder.
The next hurdle was what to do with it. I wanted something relatively easy to do that would give great flavour. Then I remembered how when I was in high school, the local chinese shop would make this wicked plum sauce that was used for duck pancakes as well as some pork dishes. Given that its not yet plum season in Kenya, I chose to substitute with a ready made option and cross my fingers that it would work.
I used good old Zesta plum jam and added some spice and soy to it. A few ingredients which did some justice to the pork and gave it a banging glaze and color.
I served my pork with vegetable fried rice (I'll share the recipe later) and of course some pak choi because you must have some of your 5 a day.
Pork shoulder bone in 1.2 kg (skin off but leave some fat to keep the moisture)
200 grams plum jam
Whole star anise (6 pieces)
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp crushed black peppercorns
1 tsp chili flakes (optional)
Salt to taste
Put your pork into a bowl where it fits snugly. Heat up your jam in a saucepan long enough to melt it into a runny consistency then take off the heat. Then add all the spices and soy sauce. Make sure you taste the sauce to find the right balance of sweet, salty (and spicy for some). Pour the sauce into the bowl with the pork. Massage the marinade in the pork making sure all the meat is exposed to the marinade and push the star anise into the meat. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 12 hours turning it halfway through.
After the 12 hours, take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature, about half an hour.
Pre - heat your oven to 188°C. Put your pork shoulder into an oven dish and pour the marinade over it. Cover tightly with foil and put to roast in the middle shelf of the oven. After about half an hour, take out the shoulder, baste and turn it, then put it back in the oven for another 30 minutes. Next, remove the foil and and baste the meat with the juices and place under the grill to broil at 160°C. You will need to keep turning and basting the meat at least every 3 to 4 minutes until the entire cut takes on a deep rich color and has a glaze.
Once its all glazed, serve on a platter with pak choi. This isn't quite authentic Chinese but it comes quite close. It also makes great filling for a sandwich, so if you have leftovers you know what to do :-)