Slow & Sweet Braised Pork

Rick Stein's 'Far Eastern Odyssey' isn't a book I've cooked with lots - but this recipe alone would make it worth reading. This spicy braised pork is sweet with tamarind and soy and cooked very slowly so that the meat is tender and succulent and perfect for feasting on. This dish is delicious with some simple wholegrain basmati, or a salad of finely sliced peppers, cucumber and spring onions; or you could go crazy and have both.


  • 1 Onion
  • 5 or 6 Cloves Garlic
  • Large Chunk Ginger (30 or 40g)
  • 1.2kg (ish) Pork Joint (shoulder)
  • 4 tsp Kecap Manis
  • 2 tbsp Soy (Kikkoman is good)
  • Chilli Peppers (Red or Green
  • 500ml Chicken Stock
  • Tamarind
  • Extra Onion (for crispy topping)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Rape Seed or Olive Oil

Trim the Pork Shoulder of all fat and chop into 4cm ish pieces (or get your butcher to do this)

Finely slice an Onion

Crush the Garlic and finely chop the Ginger

Finely chop a fresh Red or Green Chilli (more if you like your food spicy)

Heat the Oil in a large heavy bottomed pan – and when hot, add the Onions

Cook for 5 – 10 minutes or until the Onions are soft and starting to colour.  Add the Ginger, Garlic and a pinch of Salt and cook for a few minutes, stirring

Add the Pork and brown for a few minutes, until all the pieces of Pork have lost their pink colour

Add 4 tbsp Kecap Manis and 2 tbsp of Soy

(Kecap Manis is an Indonesian, sweet soy, easily replaced with Soy plus a teaspoon of Sugar.  You can get it in lots of supermarkets)

Also add the chopped fresh Chilli and a crunch of Black Pepper

Finally add the Stock… bring to the boil and simmer gently, uncovered, for 2 hours, stirring intermittently.  If you’d like a little extra sweetness, you could stir in a teaspoon or two of Tamarind (from a jar)

While the Pork is simmering… make your Crispy Onions… Very finely slice an Onion, and then fry it over a medium heat until starting to burn slightly around the edge.  Remove the Onions with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper

When the Pork is cooked, it will be soft and tender… It will already taste delicious but if you’d prefer the sauce thicker, you can remove the Pork when it’s cooked and reduce the sauce over a gentle heat for a few minutes before re-adding the Pork to the pan

Serve the braised Pork with the Crispy Onions on top, and some Simple Wholegrain Basmati Rice and maybe some fresh salads… cucumber, spring onions, peppers etc

This recipe is (more or less) from Rick Stein’s ‘Far Eastern Odyssey’

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