Chinese Braised Pork Mince & Rice Recipe | Abel & Cole

Chinese Braised Pork Mince & Rice

Cooking time
Serves4 people

Inspired by the Taiwanese dish Lo Rou Fan, this is a rich and deeply flavoured braise that slow cooks organic pork with star anise, Sichuan peppercorns, ginger and shiitake mushrooms. Soak the flavours up with bowls of fluffy rice.

Ingredients

  • 200g shallots
  • 400g pork mince
  • 1 leek
  • 100g shiitake mushrooms
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • A thumb of ginger
  • 50g tamari
  • 30ml brown rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Demerara sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tsp szechuan peppercorns (optional)
  • 300g white basmati rice
  • 200g cavolo nero
  • 2 tbsp sunflower, coconut or olive oil
  • 850ml-1.05 ltr boiling water
  • Sea salt
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Method

1. Tip the shallots into a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 5 mins to soak.
2. While the pork fries, trim the root and top 3cm off the leek. Halve it and rinse out any grit. Finely slice the leek. Drain the shallots. Trim them, peel off the skins and slice them. From this point, follow the method for either the slow cooker or hob.
3. While the shallots soak, warm a frying pan (or wok, if cooking this on the hob). Add 1 tbsp oil and the mince. Fry on a medium-high heat for 10 mins, stirring to break up any lumps, till well browned.
4. In the slow cooker: Scoop the pork mince out of the frying pan and into a 3½ ltr slow cooker. Add the shallots and leek to the frying pan with 1 tbsp oil and fry on a medium-low heat for 10 mins, stirring, till the shallots and leek are browned.
5. While the shallots and leek fry, thickly slice the mushrooms. Peel and crush or grate the garlic. Peel and grate the ginger.
6. Add the shallots, leek, mushrooms, garlic and ginger to the slow cooker. Pour in the tamari and vinegar. Add 1 tbsp sugar, 1 bay leaf and 1 star anise.
7. Tip 1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns into a pestle and mortar and grind as finely as you can. No pestle and mortar? Use a sturdy bowl and a jar or rolling pin. The peppercorns add a numbing heat to the mince, so for a milder dish you can leave them out.
8. Add the ground peppercorns to the slow cooker and stir. Pour in 250ml boiling water. Pop on the lid, set the slow cooker to medium and cook for 6 hrs, or braise for 4-5 hrs on high, or 8-9 hrs on low.
9. When the mince has 30 mins left, tip the rice into a bowl and cover with cold water. Whisk till the water goes cloudy. Drain, tip into a pan and add 600ml boiling water. Add a pinch of salt, cover and bring to the boil. When boiling, reduce the heat to very low and gently simmer for 8 mins till the water is absorbed and the rice tender. Take off the heat and let it sit for 5-10 mins to steam.
10. While the rice is cooking, finely slice the cavolo nero leaves, discarding any dry ends. Warm a wok for 2 mins over a high heat. Add ½ tbsp oil and the cavolo nero. Stir fry for 4-5 mins till the leaves are dark green, softened and glossy. Take off the heat.
11. Taste the mince and add a pinch of salt if needed. Fluff the rice and divide between 4 bowls. Top with the mince (discarding the bay leaf and star anise) and cavolo nero. Serve straight away.
12. On the hob: Scoop the pork out of the pan onto a plate and set aside. Add the shallots and leek to the pan with 1 tbsp oil. Fry over a medium-low heat for 10 mins, stirring often, till the veg are browned all over.
13. While the shallots and leek fry, thickly slice the mushrooms. Peel and crush or grate the garlic. Peel and grate the ginger.
14. Add the mushrooms to the shallots and stir fry for 4-5 mins till the mushrooms are juicy. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring for 1 min.
15. Return the pork to the pan. Pour in the tamari and vinegar. Add 1 tbsp sugar, 1 bay leaf and 1 star anise.
16. Tip 1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns into a pestle and mortar and grind as finely as you can. No pestle and mortar? Use a sturdy bowl and a jar or rolling pin. The peppercorns will add a numbing heat, so for a milder dish you can leave them out.
17. Add the ground peppercorns to the wok. Pour in 450ml boiling water. Pop on a lid – or use a baking tray if you don’t have a lid – and bring the pork to the boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer the pork for 45 mins, stirring every so often, till it has thickened.
18. When the mince has 30 mins left, cook the rice following step 6 of the slow cooker method.
19. While the rice is cooking, finely slice the cavolo nero leaves, discarding any dry ends. Warm a wok for 2 mins over a high heat. Add ½ tbsp oil and the cavolo nero. Stir fry for 4-5 mins till the leaves are dark green, softened and glossy. Take off the heat.
20. Taste the mince and add a pinch of salt if you think it needs it. Fluff the rice and divide between 4 bowls. Top with the mince (discarding the bay leaf and star anise) and the cavolo nero. Serve straight away.
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