Red-Braised Pork, a variation
First, here are two recipes I used as a reference: One and
two. My variations are in bold text.
Take a nice, reasonably fatty piece of pork. I like skin-on pork
hock for this, though the recipes I found online specify pork belly.
Season the meat with salt and pepper.
I did not pre-boil the meat as it was already cubed, and I gather this
is the main reason for doing so.
Caramelize some sugar till fairly brown in a Dutch oven. You can add 2
tbsp of oil right at the start. Keep an eye on it, it can go from brown
to burnt pretty fast.
Sear the pork right in the caramel on all sides.
Braise it in water to nearly cover (or some chicken broth, apple
juice, and then water), a splash of Chinese cooking wine, some spices
and herbs and aromatics: ginger, star anise, chilies, and cinnamon.
(I forgot the first three, but added minced shallots and whole garlic
cloves and raisins.)
The braising time is specified for about an hour, but I found 3+ hours
in a slow cooker was fine.