So I caught the first episode of a new to us Rick Stein series dealing with Shanghai and its cuisine. One important dish was said by him to be Shanghai Red Braised Pork – the ingredients didn't seem too exotic – although I was missing a couple so I decided to give it a go.
The result was very tender to falling apart pork with a very rich taste. I'd try it again but not too often.
2 T oil
3T rice wine
1 bay leaf
½ star anise (Rick called for a whole one)
1 small cinnamon stick
1 baby leek
Knob of fresh ginger, sliced
Golden syrup (instead of the yellow rock sugar I didn't have)
4 T soy sauce
½ T balsamic vinegar (instead of Chinese Black Vinegar)
500g pork belly (cut up into squares)
Slice and then sauté the shallot and leek with the sliced ginger until fragrant.
Add the star anise, cinnamon & bay leaf and sauté for another minute.
Add your pork and sear
Add the soy sauce
Add rice wine and stir about to deglaze your dish
Cover the meat with water and add your sugar (golden syrup).
Cover and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes
Add vinegar. Simmer uncovered until liquid reduced by about a third.
Taste and add salt as necessary
Turn up the heat and boil until the sauce is syrupy.
Serve with white rice.