This is a lovely recipe to introduce some new flavours into your dinner—if you are used to European flavours, anyway. I based this recipe on one found in BBC GoodFood mini cookbook Low-carb cooking and adapted it for the lazy me that cannot be bothered to clean fresh plums and the hungry me that wants food cooked as soon as possible after coming home from work; I can very much recommend buying a slow cooker, as it produces wonderful results with very little effort.
400 g pork shoulder, cut into large cubes
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 cm piece of ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil
bunch spring onions, finely sliced
1 small star anise
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 stock cube
100 ml water
6 plum halves, frozen (or fresh, if you can be bothered)
rice and sautéed vegetables, to serve
1. Put the pork with the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and half of the garlic, of the ginger, and of the chilli. Marinate for 1 hour, for example while you are having breakfast.
2. Fry the spring onions with the oil and add the remaining garlic, ginger, and chilli. Add star anise, five-spice, and cinnamon. Turn up the heat and add the pork form the marinade and fry until the meat is just seared.
3. Tip the mixture into a slow cooker, add the remaining marinade, water, stock cube, tomato puree, and plums. Leave to cook on low for about 8 hours.
4. Serve with basmati rice and/or zucchini pappardelle.