Monday, 2 February 2009

Chinese-style Braised Wild Boar One-Pot

I was woken this morning by the radio DJ saying that all the buses in London had been suspended. When I stepped out of my house, this is what greeted me, a thick blanket of snow:

Many of the tube lines had also been cancelled, and it took me an hour and thirty minutes to get to work. I had been joking that although snow was forecast it would never settled in London, so it was somewhat of a shock to see all the snow, but it was really pretty. Apparently it was the most snow the South East had seen in 18 years. Last night, knowing of the impending weather and trying to warm up after wondering around the Chinese New Year Celebrations in China Town in the afternoon, I made a Chinese style one-pot dish.

I had some Wild Boar meat left over from a Casserole I made ages ago, and I decided to try something different with it. This is originally a Beef recipe but worked just as well with Wild Boar meat.

Chinese-style Braised Wild Boar One-Pot (adapted from Good Food Magazine March 2009)
(Serves 6)

3-4 tbsp oil
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
thumb sized piece fresh root ginger, peeled and shredded
1 bunch spring onions, sliced
1 green chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
1.5kg wild boar casseroling meat, cut into large pieces
2 tbsp plain flour, well seasoned
1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
2 star anise
2 tsp light muscovado sugar
3 tbsp cooking wine/dry sherry/sake
3 tbsp dark soy sauce, plus more to serve
500ml beef stock
pak choi
basmati rice

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large shallow casserole dish. Fry the garlic, ginger, onions, chilli for 3 mins until soft and fragrant. Tip onto a plate. Toss the beef in the flour, add 1 tbsp more oil to the pan, then brown the meat in batches, it should take about 5 mins to brown each batch. Remove meat when browned.

Add the five spice and star anise to the pan, tip in the gingery mix, then fry for 1 min until the spices are fragrant. Add the sugar, then the beef and stir until combined. Keep the heat high, then splash in the wine or sherry, scaring up any meaty bits. Heat oven to 150C.

Pour in the soy sauce and stock (it won't cover the meat completely), bring to a simmer, then tightly cover, transfer to the oven and cook for 1 1/2 hours, stirring the meat half way through. the meat should be very soft, and any sinewy bits should have melted away. Season with more soy.

Nestle the Pak Choi into the pan and put back in the oven for 15 mins, or as long as the rice takes to cook, making sure they are submerged in the juices. Serve.

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