Friday, April 15, 2005

Comfort grub – homemade black gold

This recipe is taken from Kylie Kwong’s, “Kylie Kwong – recipies and stories” and in this book she calls it red-cooked pork hock, but in my house we just call it “Tau-You Bak", which translated into dark sauce meat. This is probably one of my favourite home cooked foods. I was really excited when I knew we were going to have it for dinner from the whiff of the aromas that were floating about the house in the mid morning. It’s great, my mother loves it and so I grew up eating it and I guess I’ve grown to love it too. Although I guess if you have never had it, it must look strange, and weird that a bowl with such black looking contents can be so tasty, but trust me, the hours of stewing makes the meat chucks so gentle and tender that you might be inclined to agree with me that they can be likened to little edible nuggets of black gold.

Serves 4-6

1 large fresh pork hock – approximately 1kg

2 liters cold water
1 cup shao hsing wine
1 cup dark soy
1/3 cup ligh soy
2/3 cup yellow rock sugar
6 cloves of garlic
10 ginger shards
3 green shallot stems, cut in half crossways
4 medium ‘braised dried Chinese mushrooms’
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 whole star anise
1 small piece cassia bark or 2 cinnamon quills
1 medium piece dried orange peel


Bring a large pot of water to the boil and simmer pork hock for 10 minutes. Rinse port under cold water and drain.

Place all stock ingredients into a 5-litre pot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes to allow flavours to infuse. Place pork in the stock, cover and bring to the boil. Simmer for 3 hours or until pork hock is soft, gelatinous and almost falling off the bone. During the cooking time you may need to add extra boiling water, to ensure the port is completely submerged at all times so that it cooks evenly.

The pork can be served hot with steamed greens and some of its stock ladled over.

* In our house, we usually add in hard boiled eggs, sea cucumber and mushrooms in the dish as well.


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