Slow Cooker Asian Pork and Aubergine
This is an incredibly simple slow cook stew that celebrates the great flavours of south east Asia: hot, sweet, salty and sour.
Use a cheap cut of pork such as the shoulder, or steaks from the leg, and the meat will just fall apart at the touch of the fork. The aubergine, vast in number at the start of the stew, absorbs and melts into the sauce making it rich and velvety.
I can't really sell it enough - just make it and enjoy it with plain rice and perhaps a baked sweet potato. It will be a good decision.
(This recipe is for a slow cooker but can be replicated for cooking in an oven set to GM2/150C.)
Ingredients - feeds 4
2 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
1kg pork shoulder, cut into large chunks
2 aubergines, cut into chunks
1 tbsp demerera sugar
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp tamarind paste mixed with a little hot water
1 large onion, chopped
A large pinch of dried chilli flakes
1 thumb size of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 tbsp fish or soy sauce
1 - Pre-heat your slow cooker (or oven to GM2/150C).
2 - Heat up 1 tbsp of oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the pork and quickly brown all over. Remove to a plate.
3 - Add the aubergine and quickly brown all over. Return the pork and stir in the sugar. Cook, stirring all of the time to caramelise the sugar. Tip into your slow cooker.
4 - Heat up another tbsp oil and add the onions, ginger, chilli, star anise and cinnamon. Cook until softened then add to the pork and aubergine.
5 - Pour in 200ml water, the tamarind and the fish sauce. Cook on the medium setting for 5-6 hours until the pork is meltingly tender. Stir in a handful of chopped fresh coriander.
6 - Time to tweek with the flavours. Squeeze in the juice of one lime and taste. You want the right balance of salty, sweet, hot and sour. Adjust the quantities of fish/soy sauce, sugar, chilli and lime to your tastes.
7 - Serve with plain boiled rice, fresh coriander and wedges of fresh lime.