Recipe Tag: pork
Pork shoulder is a much-underrated cut, which is surprising given the collective love of pulled pork. I don’t eat a lot of pork, so when I do I want it to be ethically sourced as well as great eating. At Mangarara Station in Hawke’s Bay, Berkshire pigs (as well as beef) are raised on a regenerative farm, and that is what I used here. Other great producers of excellent quality pork include Farm Gate Produce, Havoc Farms and Poaka.
Rich and cheesy polenta is what I’ve served here (although you could serve it with pappardelle). It’s important to use a great cheese: I’ve found that most supermarket vegetarian- rennet parmesans are pretty woeful, but on the plus side there are many great local hard cheeses that you can use in their place. Should you be lucky enough to score some Craggy Range Sheep Dairy Pecorino, it’s well worth buying; as is Mahoe Very Old Edam (which is what I have used here; all Mahoe Cheese cheeses are made with vegetarian rennet).
For this recipe you need to use noodles that will cook in about 7-8 minutes (if they cook more quickly they will lose texture). They also need to be quite separate, not tightly clumped, when dry – I find dry udon are perfect. Pork mince holds together well and beef is also fine, but chicken mince tends to fall apart – although it still tastes great. I have purposely not added any spicy heat to make the noodles family friendly, so add heat to individual taste with chilli oil or chilli sauce such as sriracha.
Popiah are one of my favourite things to eat in Singapore – I’ll never forget my first one from a stall at Newton Circus. Mine are not traditional of course, with the addition of pineapple salsa, but it works so well with the pork. This is great for a group dinner where people wrap their own, as the pancakes will happily sit covered for a long time. You can make the skins a day or two ahead, cover well and store in the fridge.
Simple and superb (the mix can be made a day ahead), these are great to fry or even better to grill. I prefer them with pork, but chicken would also work well here. I like to serve with a simple hoisin and lime sauce, but they are also good with a nuoc cham or peanut sauce. I tend to use frozen stems for the skewers – the freezing softens the fibres and they are less likely to burn on the grill.
The essential ingredients for CKT are pretty simple but the success lies in the mixture of the sauce, the chilli paste, the freshness of the flat rice noodles and other key ingredients and, most importantly, the control of heat of the wok during frying. The secret in good char koay teow lies in the timing, and the way the heat of the wok and style of frying is controlled. A very hot wok will produce a plate of fragrant and smoky noodles, but have the heat too high and not properly controlled and you’ll have burnt ingredients and broken, clumpy noodles. We use lard as it is smooth, resistant to higher heat and definitely more aromatic when frying! The amount of chilli and sauce can be added according to liking although too much sauce will result in soggy noodles. If you prefer a saltier taste, then add in more salt in the sauce but keep the liquid ingredients constant.
We import our own sauces as we know the origin and hence the integrity of the sauce. We find that the sauces made in Malaysia are definitely superior in taste with no mechanical aftertaste.
This quantity makes four serves but it’s best to fry one portion at a time to preserve the heat of the wok. So, once you have made the chilli paste and the sauce, divide all the ingredients into four portions before cooking.
TEE CHIEW PHIE
This is somewhere between a pork stroganoff and a pork, apple and crème fraîche stew. I haven’t used pork fillet because it cooks too fast and, as I’m sure you’ve gathered by now, I am a sauce obsessive and like my meat to fall to bits, so instead I’ve used the criminally underused pork neck steaks. Classically you would probably use French Dijon mustard, but I think the fieriness of English mustard works better here.
Recipes & food styling Ginny Grant Photography & styling Greta van der Star