Our little gas cooker is lovely, but the heat never gets high enough to cook a really satisfying stir fry. So I put my wok and my copy of Fuschia Dunlop away with deep regret.
And then yesterday I realised what a dimwit I had been. The joys of quick frying may be beyond Felucca, but there is a whole world of braised, steamed and slow cooked goodies that could be rustled up on her trusty hob. Like 红烧肉, red braised pork…
Take 500g streaky belly pork, blanch and rinse it, then cut into pieces the size of mouthfuls. Large mouthfuls — for there is nothing dainty about this dish.
Fry pork for a few minutes in groundnut oil, then add a large chunk of ginger that you’ve bashed around a bit with a rolling pin. Two spring onions, in big chunks. Three tbsp soft brown sugar, one of soy, two of Shaoxing wine. A star anise. Salt. And 500ml of posh stock (not from a cube).
Bring to boil. Turn down and simmer for a couple of hours until the liquid reduces, caramelises, grabs you by the short and curlies and drags you to the kitchen table.
Serve with chilli greens, rice, beer.