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

Seasonings:
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

Braising Mixture:
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.

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9 Responses to “Shrimp with Cilantro Pesto”

  1. #
    1
    Joelen — September 3, 2009 at 4:24 am

    This combines 2 of my husband’s loves – shrimp and cilantro! Love the ice cube trick too!

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    2
    Ingrid — September 3, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Yum, I love shrimp! Hadn’t thought to flavor it with pesto. Warm crusty bread would be yummy with it!
    ~ingrid

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    3
    stephchows — September 3, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    OH WOW so simple and so beautiful! I need to make myself some pesto cubes for moments like these 🙂

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    4
    Kerstin — September 3, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    What a delicious and easy dinner! I’m lucky if I’m home by 8:30, so I completely understand needing quick recipes! I’ll have to try the frozen pesto trick.

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    5
    bec — September 4, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    i just made my first batch of ice cube pesto from our basil forest. neil panics every time i make pesto. he needs verification that i have not used up too much basil. if i use 10% of what is in the garden, then we are in the safety zone. let it grow back, use another 10%. at the end of the season, we will have 9000 cubes of pesto in the freezer and neil will be happy. totally jealous of your new stove, btw. i want a griddle!

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    6
    Kat — September 4, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    I love the frozen pesto concept! I have a lot of basil, but there are only two of us in my house and we can only eat so much. I will have to try this. The shrimp looks great.

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    7
    Justin — September 11, 2009 at 12:23 am

    this looks great, and it really can’t get much easier

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    8
    Jori Hodgson — January 27, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Hi there! Love this idea. Great job!

    I was wondering where I can find pesto? Also, do you have any ideas for sides that would be good with this? I’m not familiar with pesto’s flavor and I want to surprise my husband with something 🙂 Thanks!

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    9
    Jen — January 27, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Jori – I make my own pesto using this recipe.

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