Fragrant Cinnamon Pork With Sweet Potatoes

Pork With Sweet Potatoes

Six to Eight Servings
½ pound boneless butt or shoulder, trimmed of excess fat or gristle
2 teaspoons olive or canola oil

3 stalks scallion, ends trimmed, cut into 1 ½-inch sections, and smashed lightly with the flat side of a cleaver or knife
3 garlic cloves, smashed lightly with the flat side of a cleaver, and sliced thin
3 slices fresh ginger, about the size of a quarter, smashed lightly with the flat side of a cleaver or knife
½ teaspoon hot chili paste
1 stick cinnamon
½ whole star anise, smashed or ½ teaspoon anise seeds

Braising Mixture
4 cups water
1/3 cup soy sauce
¼ rice wine or sake
2 tablespoons sugar
3 sweet potatoes or yams, about 1 ½ pounds, peeled and cut into 1 ½ -inch cubes
2 tablespoons minced scallions for garnish

  1. Cut the pork into 1 ½-inch cubes.
  2. Heat the oil until very hot in a 4-quart casserole or a Dutch oven. Add half the pork pieces. Sear the outside of half the pork over high heat until brown, turning once. Remove and sear the remaining meat. Set aside.
  3. Reheat the pan and oil, add the Seasonings. Stir-fry until fragrant, about 15 seconds, then add the Braising Mixture. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Add the pork, bring the liquid to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Let simmer covered for 35 to 40 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes, stir, cover, and continue cooking for about 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Serve the pork and potatoes, atop a bed of stir-fried bok choy with some of the braising mixture spooned on top and accompanied by steamed rice.

© Copyright Nina Simonds 2008

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