Braised Pork Hock with Chestnuts and Mushroom
Braised Pork Hock with Chestnuts and Mushroom is a simple dish of pork leg cuts and/or pork trotters cooked with soy sauce, garlic, chestnuts and shiitake mushrooms together with aromatic Asian spices like star anise, cinnamon and ginger. This is one of the simplest and common way of braising meats in the Chinese cuisine, sometimes called Red Cooking or Red Braising, where fatty meat cuts are slowly simmered for hours on a slightly dark red-brown colour sauce.
There are two types of red cooking first is what they call Hongshao (红烧) where the dish can be prepared in less than 20 minutes and usually does not require much water, then you have the Lu (卤) which usually requires prolonged cooking of up to several hours plus the ingredients are submerged in the cooking liquid.
Today we are doing the Lu style and I guess this is where the Filipino Pata Tim came from, almost similar look and texture but with the additional spices on this dish the taste and aroma is quite different, this is more like floral, slightly spicy (not hot) and sweet in a different way.
- 1½ kg pork leg and trotters, cut into smaller portions
- 250 g chestnuts
- 6 pcs hard boiled eggs
- ¼ cup Chinese cooking wine
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup dark soy sauce
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 4 pcs large dried red chillies
- 4 pcs star anise
- 2 pcs cinnamon sticks
- 2 pcs dried tangerine peel (Lau Chen Pi)
- 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger, sliced and lightly pounded
- 2 pcs whole garlic (mince one of them and leave the other one whole sliced in the middle crosswise)
- peanut oil
- In a heavy pot add oil then brown pork on all sides, remove from pot then set aside.
- Add oil if necessary, then add the minced garlic, sauté until light brown.
- Lower the heat and add the sugar into the pot, let it gently melt and caramelize then pour the Chinese cooking wine, let it boil.
- Put back the pork together with all the remaining ingredients apart from the chestnuts and hard-boiled eggs, add enough water nearly covering the pork bring to a boil then simmer while tightly covered for 1½ hrs.
- Add the chestnuts then continue to simmer for 30 more minutes or until the pork is very tender.
- Gently drain the sauce to a large sauce pan then reduce to a thick consistency. Add the eggs into the large pot then pour back the sauce, mix to evenly distribute then serve in a large bowl.