Cinnamon Pork with Sweet Potatoes
Hubby had a difficult time finding something Cinnamon-ey to make for our monthly cooking club that wasn’t a dessert. He’s definitely the cooker in our house and I’m the baker. He made this pork and it smelled delicious while it was cooking.
As recommended, we served this over rice. The pork was extremely tender and had subtle tastes of cinnamon. This mean is even better the next day. We ate it for a couple days since it made a decent amount of food and neither of us got sick of it!
Cinnamon Pork with Sweet Potatoes – from The Splendid Table – makes 6-8 servings
2 pounds boneless pork butt or shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and gristle
2-1/2 teaspoons olive or canola oil
6 whole scallions, ends trimmed, cut into 1-1/2-inch lengths, and smashed lightly with the flat side of a knife
6 cloves garlic, smashed lightly with the flat side of a knife, peeled, and sliced thin
6 slices fresh ginger, about the size of a quarter, smashed lightly with the flat side of a knife
1 teaspoon hot chile paste – we used Garlic Chili Pepper sauce from the Thai section at the store
2 to 3 sticks cinnamon
1 whole star anise, smashed, or 1 teaspoon aniseeds – we used Fennel seeds
4 cups water
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine or sake
2 tablespoons sugar
4 sweet potatoes or yams (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons minced scallion greens for garnish
Cut the pork into 1-1/2-inch cubes
Heat the oil until very hot in a 4-quart casserole or a Dutch oven with a lid. Add half the pork pieces. Sear the outside of half the pork over high heat until brown, turning once. Remove and sear the remaining meat. Set aside.
Reheat the pan and oil, add the Seasonings. Stir-fry until fragrant, about 15 seconds, then add the Braising Mixture. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the pork, bring the liquid to a boil, and reduce the heat to low. Let simmer, covered, for 35 to 40 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes, stir, cover, and continue cooking for about 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Serve the pork and potatoes atop a bed of blanched or steamed greens, with some of the braising mixture spooned on top and accompanied by steamed rice.