Braised Pork with Star Anise and Ginger

There’s a new restaurant in the neighborhood, one about which I’m excited to write just as soon as I can get some pictures of their food.  Eating there, I enjoyed a Burmese style stewed pork dish that was resplendent with ginger and it got me thinking about stewed pork.  Since we were in the midst of some drizzly weather that seemed stew appropriate, I sought out some recipes and settled on one for braised pork with star anise and ginger.


Star anise is one of my favorite spices, its evocative aroma reminding me of a big bowl of Vietnamese phở even if the actual dish in which I’m smelling it is unrelated, like this stew. 

I took chunks of boneless pork butt (which is actually the shoulder – go figure) and after browning them, simmered them for a few hours in a mixture of ginger, garlic, soy sauce, stock, a little bit of vermouth, and honey with a few star anise and a cinnamon stick thrown in.  Once the pork was so tender it fell apart with a nudge, I added some bok choy and let that cook for about five minutes before serving it with a nice scoop of organic jasmine rice.  What a delicious meal.  For those of you who don’t like pork, this recipe would go wonderfully with beef, lamb, or even chicken.


0 thoughts on “Braised Pork with Star Anise and Ginger

  1. (drooool that looks very yummy) i know I said this many times before… but Chris… you are so talented and skilled!!! [wah now im starving…..]Sadly, I live in an old apt w/o any functional stove tops. I’ve learned to live with only a stew pot, a toaster oven, and a microwave… any dishes/recipes you would recommend (u know, under the circumstances)?!? lol pathetic i know but rent is affordable… so yeah .

  2. @Roadlesstaken –  According to the National Pork Board: “In pre-revolutionary New England and into the Revolutionary War, some pork cuts (not those highly valued, or ‘high on the hog,’ like loin and ham) were packed into casks or barrels (also known as ‘butts’) for storage and shipment. The way the hog shoulder was cut in the Boston area became known in other regions as ‘Boston Butt.’ This name stuck and today, Boston butt is called that almost everywhere in the US,… except in Boston.” So now you know.@Dezinerdreams –  Rats! Someone stole my recipe! =D@murisopsis –  I was thinking mostly of folks who do not eat pork for religious reasons.@Fatcat723 –  Agreed that pork is often underrated. Unfortunately, American pork has been bred to be so lean that it lacks flavor and dries out so easily.@Wangium –  @yang1815 –  It is a wonderful spice and as Andy pointed out, a little goes a long way.@sandelion23 –  That’s very nice of you to suggest. Unfortunately, all of my recipes (or most of them) are other people’s recipes so my cookbook would be plagiarized. @foggysunnymorning –  Yep, this illustrates my answer to the previous question – most of my recipes belong to someone else!@Sinful_Sundae –  A dish like this is perfect for a stew pot. Long cooking times at a low heat produce great flavors and very tender meat.@kunhuo42 –  The nice thing about these dishes is that there is an element of “set it and forget it” about them. They take time but not a lot of attention.

  3. @CurryPuffy – You could do white, although as hearty as it is, I’d be inclined for a fruity red like a merlot or pinot noir.  If you were going to do it with a white, it would need to be a pinot grigio or even something sweet like a gewurtztraminer, definitely not something oakey like a chardonnay.

  4. I cook with star anise quite a bit too. I also use a very small piece of shredded mace, and ginger and crackle it in hot oil before adding other things such as onions etc to the pan. It has a very evocative aroma. Love it.

  5. @grannykaren – Yeah, Thailand’s coastline (most of it, with the exception of the Phuket side) faces the Gulf of Thailand, a body of water that is well-sheltered from the oceans.  So to get to us, the typhoons have to cross mountains on one side or the other, diminishing their strength.@ZSA_MD – I need to find mace.  It is from the exterior of nutmeg shells, right?

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