Dinner with the Mac Cream Pie

Before leaving for Hong Kong, I wrote about my second attempt baking a macadamia nut cream pie.  I didn’t, however, share the rest of the meal.


Preceding the pie we had a nice mixed green salad along with homemade focaccia bread based on a recent Cook’s Illustrated recipe.


Served with a main course of braised pork with star anise, ginger, and bok choy, the same recipe I made a few weeks ago, served over rice.  This dish is getting better each time as I’m figuring out how to build a more complex flavor out of the stew.  Finishing with some soy sauce and some chopped garlic in chili oil definitely moves it forward a few steps.


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.