Red Braised Pork Ribs or Belly

This is one of our favourite recipes for pork belly. It really is stunning.

Ingredients
1kg pork belly or spare ribs, cut into bite sized pieces
6 slices ginger
2 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 shallots, diced with the white and green parts separated
½ cup Shao Xing cooking wine (or dry sherry)
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1½ tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 5cm cinnamon quill
2 whole star anise
4 bay leaves
1-2 dried chillies(optional)
1 litre water

Method
First, blanch the pork, to remove blood and impurities from the meat. To do this, add the pork and 3 slices of ginger to a pot with enough cold water to cover it. With the lid on, bring the pot to the boil. Once it boils, turn down the heat and simmer for one minute. Drain, rinse the pork, and set aside.
With the wok set over low heat, add the oil and sugar. Slowly melt the sugar, taking care to not let it burn, then add in the pork, the rest of the ginger, and the white half of the shallots. Turn the heat to medium and stir pork to cover it with the melted sugar.
Next, add the wine, light and dark soy sauce, cinnamon, star anise, bay leaves, dried chillies, and water. Stir and make sure everything is submerged. If there is sugar stuck on your wok turner, dissolve it in the water and then cover the wok. Simmer over a low heat for 1 hour. Check occasionally to ensure the sauce doesn’t dry out.
When the pork is nice and tender, uncover the wok and turn up the heat to cook off excess sauce, stirring constantly. Reduce the sauce until it is a glistening coating on the pork belly.
Lastly, add in half a teaspoon extra sugar and the green half of the shallots.
Give it a quick stir and serve with boiled or fried rice.

Balinese Tamarind Pork

This is one of our absolute favourites.

Simple to make with minimal ingredient, it’s amazing how much flavour this dish has.

Balinese Tamarind Pork
Tamarind Pork

Ingredients

1 tbsp tamarind concentrate
2 medium onions, rough chopped
2 tsp grated ginger
2 tbsp sweet dark soy sauce (ketjap manis)
1 tbsp sambal olek
1 tbsp vegetable oil
½ kg pork spare ribs or belly
½ cup water
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp brown sugar

Method

Place the onion, garlic, ginger, ketjap manis and sambal olek into a food processor and make into a smooth paste.
Heat the oil in a deep heavy based pan over a high heat and fry the pork, turning often, until browned all over. Reduce heat to medium and pour off the excess fat. Add the onion mixture and fry for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the water, salt and tamarind concentrate and mix well.
Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
Add the brown sugar, increase the heat to medium and cook uncovered, stirring often until the sauce is dark and sticky.

Serve immediately with plenty of jasmine rice.

Serves 4

Pork and Garlic Chive Pot Sticker Dumplings

Making beautiful looking dumplings is an art that obviously has passed us by. Luckily they don’t need to look great in order to taste fantastic.
When you make these, it’s a whole bunch of fun to do it with some friends around the kitchen bench and a bottle of wine.

Ingredients

• 6 cups plain flour
• 2 cups water
• ¼ cup oil (plus more for cooking)
• 500g Edible Forest pork mince
• 1 egg
• 7 cups garlic chives chives, chopped finely
• 3 tablespoons sesame oil
• ¼ cup soy sauce
• ½ tsp salt (or to taste)

Method

1. Put the flour into a mixing bowl. Slowly add the water to the
flour, mixing constantly, then knead into a smooth dough. This should take about 10 minutes. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for one hour.

2. While the dough is resting, make the filling. Add the oil to a small pot over medium high heat. Heat the oil for about 7 minutes and
allow it to cool. This process of heating the oil brings out a nuttier flavor in the filling.

3. When the oil has cooled, put the pork mince in a large bowl with the egg, chives, sesame oil, soy sauce, salt and cooled oil. Mix all ingredients together well.

4. Now it’s time to build the dumplings. Divide the dough into manageable pieces and roll each piece into a rope. Cut them into small
pieces, roughly the size of the end of your thumb.

5. Roll the pieces out into circles, and add about 1½ teaspoons of filling to the center

6. Fold the circle in half and press the edges together. Or find a video on youTube that shows you how to fold dumplings – didn’t help us but fun to watch!

7. Put oil in a large frying pan a few millimetres deep over a medium heat. Place the dumplings about a centimeter apart in the oil and fry until the bottoms start to brown just slightly. Add a cupful of hot water to the frying pan and cover with a lid that seals well. Turn the heat down to low and steam for 10 minutes.

8. Remove the lid and turn the heat back up to medium. Boil off all the water and fry the dumplings some more until they are nice and crisp underneath.

9. Serve immediately with Annette’s Sweet Chili Sauce

Kung Po Pork

This is one of our long time favourite recipes. Kung Po Pork also works amazingly well with chicken or beef and is like a completely different dish with each of the three meats.
You can buy our pork @ Wingham Farmers Market on the first Saturday of the month or @ the Bent on Tuesday Farmers’ any Tuesday morning.

Ingredients
400g g (1 lb 4 oz) Edible Forest pork stir fry strips, cut into small cubes,
2 teaspoons cornflour
1 tablespoons shao hsing wine
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3 dried Kashmiri chillies (or any other if you can’t get Kashmiri)
5 cm piece ginger, julienned
1 tablespoon brown sugar
100g roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar
Pinch Sechuan salt and pepper (1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon Sechuan peppercorns)

Method
Combine pork with cornflour and shao hsing wine in a bowl. Cover and leave to marinate for 1 hour.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of Sechuan peppercorns to a small dry pan. Heat over a moderate flame until fragrant. Use a mortar and pestle to grind into a fine powder. Set aside
Place oil and chillies in a cold wok and turn heat to low.
Cook until chillies begin to darken slightly. Using a slotted spoon, remove chillies and drain.
Leaving chilli oil in wok, turn heat up to high and stir-try pork for 3 minutes. Add ginger and reserved chillies and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
Add sugar and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add peanuts, soy sauce and vinegar and stir-try for another 30 seconds.

Serve, sprinkled with Sechuan salt and pepper, with rice and stir fry veggies.

Keyline Tilling

One of our most successful techniques for improving the soil has been Keyline Tilling, as proposed by P. A. Yeomans back in the fifties.

We use a Yeomans Plough, as designed by P.A. and built by his son Alan:

The aim is to reduce compaction (our soils were like concrete, all over the farm), improve soil structure and water holding capacity.

We use P.A.’s tilling plan, as shown at left.

The diagram is from Water for Every Farm, the republished and edited version of P.A. Yeomans’s work, produced by his son Ken.

Go to Ken’s website to buy a copy, while it’s a difficult read, it’s worth the effort.

The aim of this tilling plan is to get water that falls on the ridge to slowly filter out to the ridge, rather than to run down into the gullies and run away.

So far it works a treat. Paddocks we have treated this way have been transformed. From having 3cm or less of topsoil, poor water retention and a monoculture of kikuyu grass, we now see dozens of species of grasses and herbs, anything up to 40cm of topsoil and water on the ridges after rain, where they used to be dry all the time.

At the same time, compaction is reduced dramatically. Where we used to struggle to set up an electric fence tread-in in anything other than soggy ground (they would just not go into the soil), now we can get them in even in the driest of times.

Here are a few photos showing the process:

[slideshow_deploy id=’1534′]

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