Category Archives: Pork

Braised Coconut Lemon Curry Pork, plus Mike’s Pork Loin Sandwich!

Mkay, before we get to the food, I just have to share this link.

Because Stephen Colbert is the ideal human being. It’s actually unfair that one person could be THIS PERFECT. After Daft Punk cancelled their interview at the last minute due to an MTV contract, Colbert replaced Daft Punk with something 2165318712 times better. Talk about an amazeballs recovery.

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Aaanywho, back to the food. When the same friend who linked me the carnitas recipe linked me this other pork recipe, I knew I had to try it. Problem was, I didn’t have a slow cooker. Also, Mike hates ginger (root, not people). So of course I had to bastardize the recipe. What fun are recipes you can’t play around with? This is pretty much the reason why I rarely bake. Whenever I bake, I can’t resist adding this and that, and before I know it, my muffin has turned into a rock-hard bread thing. But in this particular instance, messing around with the original recipe yielded amazing results.

Braised Coconut Lemon Curry Pork

Ingredients

– 600 g pork shoulder (you can also use belly, but I wouldn’t use a leaner cut than shoulder)

– 2 stalks lemongrass, crushed

– About a thumb-size chunk of ginger root, sliced thinly

– 4 cloves garlic, smashed

– 1 onion, sliced (actually, the onion turned out sooo delicious and soft next time I would put two in)

– 1 tbsp Thai green curry paste

– 1 can coconut milk (I used half a can here, but that turned out to be too little)

– 1 cup water (I didn’t add water here and there wasn’t as much broth/sauce as I would’ve liked)

– 1/2 a lemon, sliced into two

– Salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 160 deg C (320 F). Put all of the ingredients except the coconut milk and pork into a pan.

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2. Season the pork with salt and pepper and slap ’em into the pot. I used sliced pork shoulder here because that was what we got at the market, but you could use a hunkachunk of shoulder instead.

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3. Pour the coconut milk and water over it. Cover and slide into oven for about 3 to 4 hours. Check on it every 45 min or so, basting the pork.

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004The pork is done when it becomes a challenge to lift it up without it breaking into little glops of deliciousness.

005I know this looks pale and super lame, but trust me when I say the flavor’s to die for. Also, I ate it with a spoon. It yielded to my spoon like the sweet, soft buttcheek of fat angel babies.

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SO tender. This is so totally a keeper. I can’t wait to make this for my family in Indo, actually!

Anyway, the other night, I was completely pooped after a wedding and the thought of cooking made me shrivel up like a sad, salted slug. So I sat back and let Mike putter about in the kitchen, and this was what he came up with:

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Erm, I have no idea what was in it other than. . . pork loin, cheddar, red cabbage, and shrooms. I finished that in under a minute and whined about there being so little of it. I’ll have to ask him for the recipe. It’s funny, he used to cook a lot more often, before I wedged myself between him and the stove and shoved him out of the kitchen. . . I guess I’m just a control freak like that. Who cooks in your house? Do you cook well with others, or do you prefer to have full control of the kitchen?

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Kimchi Jjigae and Bangs

I got bangs!

Yay, bangs!

Yay, bangs!

Can you tell how excited I am about my bangs? See, I think bangs automatically make you look super sweet and innocent, and I need that because this is my usual expression:

Care to repeat that?

In my next book you will be slowly torn apart by hamsters.

Since I work in the wedding industry, I probably shouldn’t look like I am plotting my next kill. . . so here’s to Bangs: When you need to hide your slightly deranged face.

Aaanywho, last night I cooked an old favorite dish of mine: Kimchi Jjigae. Kimchi Jjigae is a Korean stew made with, what else, kimchi. The main reason I love cooking it, aside from the fact that it’s frikkin’ delicious, is that it’s one of those dishes that taste like you’ve slaved away in the kitchen for hours, but is disgustingly simple to make.

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Kimchi Jjigae Recipe

Ingredients:

– 2 to 3 cups of kimchi, depending on how kimchi-y you like your soup

– 300 g pork belly/shoulder, cut into bite-size pieces. I had leftover pork loin, so I used that instead. You could probably use chicken or beef as well, or leave out the meat altogether and make it a vegetarian dish.  No kimchi jjigae police is going to knock down your door and arrest you, probably.

– 1 to 2 tbsp gochujang, depending how spicy you want it

– 1 to 2 tsp sugar

– a bunch of scallions, chopped into 2-inch long pieces

– 1 package firm tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes

– 1 egg

– salt to taste

Directions:

1. Put kimchi, gochujang, scallions, and sugar into pot. If you’re using a fatty cut of meat like pork belleh/shoulder or chicken thigh, put the meat in as well. Since I used loin, I put the meat in about 10 min before serving so I didn’t overcook it. Add enough water to cover 2/3 of the mix and boil for 30 minutes.

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2. Add tofu (and lean meat if you’re using that) and salt to taste and boil for a further 10 min.

3. Turn off the heat, crack egg into the pot and stir in quickly.

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4. Ladle into bowls and garnish with sliced scallions. Shamelessly accept praise and keep mum about how brainless the recipe actually was.

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*Note: You can always add in odds and ends to the stew. I had leftover mushrooms lying about, so I sliced them up and added them to the dish, and they worked really well. Traditional kimchi jjigae recipes don’t usually use eggs, but I like how the egg makes the broth all thick and silky. I’ve also made this with bacon, which worked beautifully. It’s pretty much a fool-proof dish that’s perfect for winter. . . or a rainy English summer.

 

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Carnitas and Cherry Tomato Salsa in Lettuce Cups

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I’ve always equated carnitas to slow-cooked, and therefore, too super frickin’ hard to do. But when a friend of mine linked me this recipe, I decided it looked too easy not to try.

Unfortunately, the store was out of pork shoulder, so I used pork belly instead. Cooking with pork belleh is pretty much a slam dunk. It’s actually humanly impossible to ruin pork belly.001

Is it weird that I like the feel of raw meat? I love rubbing spices and shit into my meats. I didn’t have cumin and was hesitant about buying a bag of it when I don’t usually cook with it, so I substituted by using a Jamaican jerk rub. I also added more paprika and chili powder than the original recipe calls for, because we like things pretty spicy here.002

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After 3 hours in the oven, the pork was actually crispy enough that I didn’t need to slide it back in under the broiler. Maybe I didn’t use enough liquid or something. Either way, it was tender enough that I was able to floff it up with a spoon. A SPOON. Mmm, I like my meats like I like my friends: completely submissive. (*hides from friends*)005

Since Mike and I trying to cut down on carbs, we skipped the tortillas and instead served the carnitas in lettuce cups. I think I actually prefer it this way. The lettuce balanced out the spiciness of the carnitas and added so much freshness to it. It was the perfect summer food. In the winter I might make this again and floff it to simmer in a broth, maybe with beans. Hmmm. Definitely a keeper.