When I made Chairman Mao's red braised pork a couple of weeks ago, none of the children was at home. When Lucius came home that evening, he went straight to bed with a temperature. So I ate it alone, two nights in a row. I thought it good enough to do again. I thought they'd all like it. So I made it last night. You should have heard the whingeing.
To be honest, it wasn't what I was expecting. What were you expecting? Well, something with a bright red thick sauce, and chunks of raw peppers and onions. You mean takeaway? Yeah, let's order. & so on & so on & so on.
It was quite hot, even though I doubled the quantities but halved the chilli. So next time I make this - and I will, later this week - I'm going to leave out the chilli altogether, thicken the sauce with a little cornflour, add a few vegetables a la Chinese takeaway. And make an egg fried rice to go with it.
PS if you make this, don't panic when you add the pork - it seems as if there's no sauce at all, but there is, as the sugar melts down. It's delicious. Just don't be tempted to add red food colouring.
PPS I made it with lean pork, much nicer. And I left out the boiling stage, with no discernable difference to the finished dish.
Behind the scenes - working on October Gardens Illustrated linocut - Each month I look forward to an email from David at Gardens Illustrated magazine with an attached text file of Frank Ronan's latest column. Sometimes ther...
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