Showing love to all the single ladies (all the single ladies) on Valentine’s Day.
In my thirty-odd years, I have had my fair share of single Valentine’s Days. They numbered more than the lovey couple ones, even though I’m married now (whoa, married)! Of course, I appreciate the jewelry/chocolates/funny card bit, but before I met G, I was THE Single Girl.
And I loved it.
If being single was a talent, I would have swept the competition. I would have been crowned Miss Universe of the Single World. My reign over Singledom was so supreme that when G and I started dating, and he dared to ask to see me more than once a week, I responded with “Why would you want to do that?”
True story. But, lucky for him, I worked that one out.
It still feels strange not to be celebrating Valentine’s watching bad action/sci-fi movies and eating boxes of chocolates meant for two with my other single girlfriends and our best boyfriend ever, wine. But in my place at the great single shindig table, I offer this succulent pork dish. It’s my take on the classic Thai red pork, so good you might consider putting a ring on it.
Oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh
1kg pork leg. I used a skinless rolled leg joint
For the marinade
2 Tsp Chinese five spice powder
2 Tbsp plum sauce
4 Tbsp soy sauce
4 Tbsp sugar
1 Shallot, chopped
1 Tsp coriander stems, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
white pepper, a good pinch
1 Tsp red food colouring
For the gravy
250ml water or vegetable stock
¼ Tsp white vinegar
3 Tsp sugar or to taste
2 Tsp red food colouring, more if darker colour is desired
1 Tbsp cornflour
Salt and white pepper to taste
Method for marinade
1. Blitz all the ingredients for the marinade in a food processor or blender.
2. Place the pork in a plastic freezer bag and add the marinade mixture, ensuring that the pork is well covered.
3. Marinate the pork in the fridge for at least 4 hours. For best results, marinate overnight.
Method for cooking
1. Allow the pork to come to room temperature before cooking
2. Preheat the oven to 180c.
3. Line a large roasting tray with tin foil and place a roasting trivet inside.
4. Place the pork on the trivet and cook at 180c for about 1hour 20 minutes or until the internal temperature is 72c and the juices run clear.
5. Allow the meat to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.
Method for gravy
1. Heat the left over marinade and any resting juices in a sauce pan until boiling. Remove any scum that may come to the surface. Do not skip this step; it is to remove any nasties!
2. Add the water or vegetable stock, food colouring, pepper salt, sugar, vinegar and simmer until reduced by a third.
3. While the sauce is simmering away, in a small bowl mix the cornstarch with a bit of water. You should end up with a thick paste.
4. Add the paste to the simmering liquid and bring back up to the boil to remove any starchy taste.
5. Remove from heat.
Serve the pork with steamed rice and soy sauce