Sunday, August 21, 2011

Roasted Pork Jowl and Feet Porridge

You're probably tired of hearing me complain about the weather, hell, I'm tired of complaining about it...So instead of continuing to voice my frustration for the lack of a summer, I've decided to make the best of it.  

I introduce to you Chinese roasted pork jowl and feet porridge with dried bok choy and dried oysters.  

I'm completely aware that not everyone readily has access to these ingredients and to many this may not seem like a combination sent from the porridge gods, but the wonderful thing about porridge is that you can put practically anything in it.  For example, David Lebovitz offers a recipe that has Chinese sausage in it, but if you can't find it or don't have a taste for it, then he suggests slab bacon as a suitable substitute.  Which I too will offer here as a substitute for the pork jowl and feet.  Although, it is much better with the roast pork parts.  

I'm a firm believer that the head of a roast pig has some of the best tasting morsels of meat on the entire animal.  Rich, tender, succulent meat that just falls off the bone.  Perfect for eating as is, or in this case, as the star of a porridge.  And as for the feet, the caramelized, crispy skin and roasted bones add so much depth of flavor to the porridge that it's difficult to duplicate. 

So, if you know of a Chinese BBQ joint near you hurry on over and pick up some feet and jowl.  

Did I mention that it's dirt cheap and really good?  Take that you peacoat and boots non-summer! 

Serves 4-6 

1 1/2 cups long grain rice
28 cups water
Half a suckling pig's head
2 pigs feet
1 cup dried bok choy, reconstituted (fresh bok choy is fine)
10 dried oysters (you can leave this out if you choose)
vegetable oil

Sesame oil
Shredded lettuce
White pepper
Chopped cilantro
Chopped scallions
Shredded ginger
Diced thousand year old egg

Soak the dried bok choy in water and set aside
Bring the 28 cups water to a boil
In the mean time, rinse the rice and toss with about a teaspoon of oil and a pinch of salt
When the water comes to a boil add the rice

In another pot, bring water to a boil
Add the jowl and feet to the second pot and when it comes up to a boil drain the feet and jowl.  This process helps to get rid of the extra fat

Stir the rice occasionally making sure that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot
When the rice begins to bloom and it starts to become the consistency of porridge, add the blanched jowl, feet, and dried oysters and let simmer for 30 minutes to an hour, again, stirring occasionally.
Add the reconstituted bok choy and let simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes.

And it's ready to eat!

I like to pour the porridge over a bed of shredded lettuce then garnish with cilantro, scallions, ginger, a drizzle of sesame oil, a pinch of ground white pepper, and some diced thousand year old egg.


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