Here’s a great way to combine two classic Caribbean recipes to form a mouth-watering delight. Usually this is made with left over stewed pork which is added the final minutes of cooking pak choi, but this approach will see you stew the pork first and then add the diced pak choi the final 10 minutes of cooking. You can also refer back to the original Stew Pork and Pak Choi recipes if you’re looking to have them separate. This recipe was passed on to me last weekend when I visited my parents, so full props to my mom for once again coming through.
1lb pork – cubed into 3/4 inch pieces
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ketchup
2 cloves of garlic – thinly sliced or crushed
1 teaspoon fresh or bottled ginger – sliced. (use 1/2 if it’s ginger powder)
2 tablespoon vegetable oil (one that can withstand high heat)
1 medium onion – chopped
1 medium tomato – chopped
1 tablespoon Caribbean green seasoning
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup water
dash of black pepper
1/4 hot pepper (sliced thin – leave out seeds to control heat)
1 scallion – chopped
2 sprigs of fresh thyme (1 teaspoon dried)
1 lime or lemon or 3 tablespoons of vinegar
1 bundle pak choi (about 2lbs)
I purchased a piece of pork (leg cut) with some fat (but trimmed a bit) as I like the flavour you get from it when cooked. Plus I find that due to the long cooking process (I like the meat very tender) a lean piece of pork will be overly dry. The first step is to cut the pork into cubes about 3/4 inch and wash with the lime or lemon juice and water (not the water mentioned in the list above), then drain dry and get ready for seasoning.
Add everything to the bowl with the cubed pork, except the oil, water, sugar and pak choi, then stir around. Allow this to marinate for about 30 minutes at least, in the fridge. If you can allow for 2hrs of marinating, I find the results are much better.
Let’s get to stewing the pork. Place a solid pan on a med to high heat and pour in the oil. To which (when hot) add the brown sugar an stir regular. The idea is to get the sugar to melt and then go to a rich dark golden colour (frothy). If it goes beyond this dark golden colour you will end up with a bitter tasting end product. Refer to the pics below and do two things. 1 have the seasoned pork at easy access since timing is key and 2. use care when adding the pork (and marinade) to the pot, since it’s being added to hot oil and melted sugar. Now stir around so everything gets coated with that rich caramel we created (don’t worry it will not be a sweet dish), bring to a boil then simmer to as low as you can, add the 1/4 cup of water and allow to simmer for 40 minutes covered. It will spring it’s own natural juices as well. Remember to add the 1/4 cup of water to the same bowl you had the meat marinating in, so you can pick up anything that was left back.
While this simmers (remember to stir every 10 minutes or so), let’s prepare the Pak Choi. Pak Choi is usually planted in somewhat sandy soil and can be packaged with some of that dirt and grit. Take apart each leaf and rinse under running water. Remember to rub the stalks with your fingers while under the running water as well. Now using a sharp knife cut the stalk (white part) into strips about 1/2 inch thick (refer to pic below), then roll into a bundle and slice everything (including the green parts) about 1/4 inch thick. Place in a drainer of some sort and rinse and allow to drain.
Now that the pork has been cooking for about 40 minutes, remove the lid and turn up the heat to burn off all the liquid completely, but remember to keep stirring so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Then add the sliced Pak Choi to the pot and turn the heat back down to medium/low covered for 7 minutes. The final step is to remove the lid, turn up the heat and once agin try to burn of any remaining liquid. NOTE: Depending on how cooked (crisp) you like you Pak Choi, feel free to adjust the cooking time after you add it to the pot. In total I cooked the pack choi for 10 minutes after adding it to the pot.
There you go… a tasty combination that goes well with brown rice (as above), roti (fry bake, Sada , buss-up-shut), pita bread, on sandwiches or as a main side to accompany any dinner. Please don’t forget to leave me your comments below (always appreciated..even if it’s just a hello) and join us on Facebook by clicking on the image below.