Vietnamese Meatball Lettuce Wraps

3 teaspoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided
1 pound ground pork
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, plus sprigs, to serve
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 scallions, white and light green parts minced, dark green parts thinly sliced
5 tablespoons fish sauce, divided
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons white sugar, divided
1/2 cup lime juice
1-2 serrano chilies, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded (1 cup)
Lettuce leaves, to serve

Coat a large plate with 1 teaspoon of the oil; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the pork, 3 tablespoons water, cilantro, pepper, minced scallions, 2 tablespoons of the fish sauce and the 2 teaspoons sugar.

Mix vigorously with a rubber spatula until thoroughly combined, 20 to 30 seconds. The mixture will be soft and sticky. With lightly moistened hands, form the mixture into 20 balls and place them on the prepared plate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the lime juice, the 3 remaining tablespoons fish sauce, the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and the chilies until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.

Line another plate with paper towels. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil until beginning to smoke. Add the meatballs and cook undisturbed until the bottoms are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

Using a spatula, turn each meatball and continue to cook, adjusting the heat as needed and occasionally turning the meatballs, until golden brown all over, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the prepared plate, tent with foil and let rest 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, toss the shredded carrots with 2 tablespoons of the lime juice sauce. Serve the meatballs with the carrots, cilantro sprigs, sliced scallions and lettuce leaves for wrapping. The remaining sauce can be spooned onto the wraps.

Pressure Cooker Pernil Asado

MARINADE:
1/2 cup coarsely chopped garlic (from about 1 medium head)
Leaves from 8 to 10 stems fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
1/4 cup fresh sour orange juice (from about 2 medium; may substitute a 50-50 blend of fresh lemon juice and fresh grapefruit juice)
1/4 cup packed fresh oregano leaves
1/4 cup water, or more as needed
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup vegetable oil

PORK:
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
One 4-pound, bone-in pork shoulder

For the marinade: Combine the garlic, cilantro, citrus juices, oregano and water in a blender; puree to form a smooth, thick liquid. With the motor running, add the oils in a slow, steady stream until evenly incorporated.

For the pork: Combine the salt, oregano and pepper in a small bowl.

Rinse the pork with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Use a sharp knife to cut the skin and/or fat cap on your pork shoulder in a crosshatch pattern, leaving about an inch of space between the cuts. Be sure to slice through the layer of fat below the skin, but not into the meat itself.

Rub the pork all over with the salt mixture, then place in a gallon-size zip-top bag. Add the marinade, pushing it into the nooks and crannies and pressing out as much air as possible, and seal. Refrigerate, turning occasionally, for 12 to 24 hours.

Let the pork sit at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Reserve the marinade.

Place the pork shoulder fat-cap side up in a Dutch oven or other large, heavy-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add 3/4 cup of the marinade and the water. Cover and roast (middle rack) for 3 to 5 hours, until the meat is fork-tender. Use tongs or large forks to flip the roast every hour or so, and use some of the marinade mixture to baste the meat. Add a tablespoon of water or two if the pan is dry. Finish cooking for last hour with fat-cap side up.

To help crisp the fat cap on top of the pork and further brown the meat, uncover the pot and increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes.

Place the meat in a large bowl or on a large cutting board with a channel that can catch the juices. Use two forks to shred the roast pork into bite-size pieces. Add 1/2 cup of the pan juices (or as much as you like), and stir to incorporate.

VARIATION: To make the pernil in an Instant Pot, ask the butcher to remove the bone from pork shoulder and cut the meat into four equal pieces; reserve the bone. Follow the marinating directions above.

Remove the shoulder from the marinade and shake dry; reserve the marinade.

Add 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil to the Instant Pot. Set to SAUTE on high heat; add the hunks of meat and sear them on all sides, about 3 minutes per piece, in batches, then transfer them to a plate.

Add 1 cup of the reserved marinade to the Instant Pot. Use a wooden spoon to scrape away any blackened bits. Turn off the heat.

Arrange the hunks of pork around in the pot, then baste with the reserved marinade.

Add the bone, cover and cook at high pressure for 80 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.

Transfer the meat to a cutting board. Cook the marinade over medium heat until slightly reduced; skim fat and season, as needed.

Add the pork and shred it with forks.

Crisp the pork under the broiler, if desired.

Sesame Ginger Pork Meatball Soup with Bok Choy

Meatballs:
1 egg
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs can use regular
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
3/4-1 lb ground pork

Soup broth:
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp sesame oil
4 small carrots diced
1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1-2 tsp Asian Chili Garlic Sauce to taste

To finish soup:
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 cups thinly sliced bok choy leaves
2 green onions thinly sliced, divided

Preheat oven to 400F (205C). Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or greased foil. Set aside.

Prepare meatballs: Beat egg in a large bowl. Stir in panko, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil. Add ground pork and stir to incorporate seasonings into pork. Shape meatballs using a rounded 1 tsp measuring spoon. Place on prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until juices run clear and the meatballs are browned in spots. Remove from oven and set aside. *You can make ahead and refrigerate for up to 1 day or freeze for longer.

Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sesame oil and carrots and saute for 5-7 minutes, or until carrots are softened. Add ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add broth, water, soy sauce and chili garlic sauce. Bring to a boil over high heat, them reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.

Add meatballs, rice vinegar and 1/2 of the green onions to soup and allow to cook until meatballs are heated through. Turn off heat under soup. Stir in bok choy until just wilted. Serve garnished with remaining green onion.

Pressure Cooker Pork Posole

1 pound pork shoulder, cut into bite size cubes
1 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic
25 ounces posole or hominy grits with liquid
1-3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped, and with 1-3 teaspoons of the sauce (about half a small can)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Place all ingredients except cilantro in your Instant Pot, stir well, and set for 30 minutes at High Pressure.

If you like your hominy to have a little bite, I suggest you put in half the can while cooking so it flavors and thickens a bit, and save the other half to add after cooking. I put all mine in.

Allow to release pressure naturally, check pork for doneness, check stew for flavor, add chilis or salt as needed, garnish wth cilantro and serve.

Nut and Herb Breading (for chicken, fish, or pork)

2 chicken cutlets
4 eggs
4 cups raw, unsalted nuts of your choice
1/2 cup finely chopped herbs of your choice
1/4 – 1/2 cup cooking oil of your choice
1 avocado, sliced
Salt & pepper to taste
Directions:

Finely grind nuts in food processor, but don’t grind them so long that they turn into paste. Combine the ground nuts with the chopped herbs. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Lightly beat raw eggs in large bowl. Dip chicken cutlets in the egg wash and coat both sides with the nut mixture.

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Place chicken in skillet and cook until browned on both sides and cooked through, about five minutes a side.

Top with avocado slices before serving.

If you’re increasing this recipe and cooking several batches of cutlets, change the oil halfway through so it doesn’t become dark and have a burnt flavor.

Variations:

This recipe can be adapted with a variety of spices, herbs and nuts and can also be used with pork cutlets or other meats.

Pressure Cooker Kalua Pig

3 bacon slices
5 pound bone-in pork shoulder roast
5 peeled garlic cloves (optional)
1½ tablespoons Alaea Red Hawaiian Coarse Sea Salt (or ~1 tablespoon Alaea Red Hawaiian Fine Sea Salt)
1 cup water
1 cabbage, cored, and cut into 6 wedges

Drape three pieces of bacon on the bottom of tge pot. Press the “Sauté” button and in about a minute, your bacon will start sizzling. (If you’re using a stovetop pressure cooker instead, line it with three pieces of bacon, crank the burner to medium, and start frying your bacon.)

Slice the pork roast into three equal pieces. If you’ve got some garlic on hand, use it! With a sharp paring knife, stab a few slits in each piece of pork, and tuck in the garlic cloves.

Carefully measure out the amount of salt you use. For this recipe, follow Judy Rodger’s rule of thumb: use 3/4 teaspoon of medium-coarse salt for every 1 pound of meat. (Using fine salt? Use about half that amount.)

Sprinkle the salt evenly over the pork. As you’re seasoning the pork, you’ll hear the bacon sputtering in the pressure cooker. Don’t forget to flip the slices, and turn off the heat when the bacon is browned on both sides.

Place the salted pork on top of the bacon, keeping the meat in a single layer.
Pour in the water. Check your pressure cooker manual to see what the minimum amount of liquid is for your particular model, and adjust accordingly.

Cover and lock the lid.

If you’re using an Instant Pot, select the “Manual” button and press the “+” button until you hit 90 minutes under high pressure. Once the pot is programmed, walk away.

If you’re using a stove-top pressure cooker, cook on high heat until high pressure is reached. Then, reduce the heat to low to maintain high pressure for about 75 minutes.

When the stew is finished cooking, the Instant Pot will switch automatically to its “Keep Warm” mode. If you’re at home, press the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button to turn off the cooker and let the pressure come down naturally quicker.

If you’re using a stove-top pressure cooker, remove the pot from the heat. In either case, let the pressure release naturally (which will take about 15 minutes).

Once the cooker is depressurized, check that the pork is fork-tender. If the meat’s not yet fall-apart tender, you can always cook the pork under pressure for another 5-10 minutes to get the right texture.

Transfer the cooked pork to a large bowl, and taste the cooking liquid remaining in the pot. Adjust the seasoning with water or salt if needed.

Chop the cabbage head into six wedges and add them to the cooking liquid.

Replace the lid and cook the cabbage under high pressure for 3-5 minutes. When the cabbage is done cooking, activate the quick release valve to release the pressure.

While the cabbage is cooking, shred the pork. Once the cabbage is cooked, pile it on the pork and serve.

Notes

The leftovers can be kept in the fridge for 4 days or frozen up to several months. Pro-tip: Crisp up the leftover pork in a skillet for a crunchy, porky delight!

courses dinner

Pressure Cooker Carnitas

3 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast
2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt, more to taste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoons crushed dried oregano leaves, preferably Mexican
1 medium orange (I like using Cara Cara)
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1 dried bay leaf
1 tablespoon ghee, avocado oil, lard, or favorite high temperature cooking fat (optional)
1 small white onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
1 head butter lettuce, leaves removed, washed and spun dry (Siete’s grain-free tortillas are awesome as well.)
2 Hass avocados, peeled and sliced
1-2 radishes, thinly sliced
2 jalapeño peppers, sliced (optional)
1 cup salsa
3 limes, quartered
Instructions

Grab your boneless pork shoulder roast (a.k.a. Boston butt) and cut it into 2-inch cubes.

Plop the pork in a large bowl and sprinkle on the salt, cumin, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Toss well to coat. Then, transfer the seasoned pork to the Instant Pot insert.

Use a vegetable peeler to peel wide strips of zest off the orange. Stay close to the surface, making sure you don’t peel into the white pith, ’cause that stuff is bitter. Add the strips of orange zest to the Instant Pot, along with the garlic, quartered yellow onion, and bay leaf.

Cut the bald orange in half and juice it. Pour the juice into the Instant Pot insert and stir to distribute.

Place the insert into the Instant Pot and lock the lid. Make sure the valve on the lid is pointed at the “Sealing” position. Press the “Manual” button and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. (Stovetop pressure cooker users should cook under high pressure for 30 minutes.) Then, let the pressure release naturally (about 20 minutes).

If the pressure hasn’t completely released after 20 minutes and you’re hungry, manually vent the pressure by turning the release valve on the lid. Open the lid and discard the garlic, onion, and bay leaf. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed. You can shred and serve the pork as-is, or store it in the fridge (with all the liquid/fat) for up to 4 days (or in the freezer for up to 3 months).

If you prefer crispy carnitas, heat up a large cast iron skillet over medium heat with a tablespoon of your favorite cooking fat.

Grab the pork out of the fridge and dig out the pieces of carnitas. Shred the meat up with your fingers.

Once the pan is hot, add the pork and fry, stirring occasionally, until it reaches your desired crispness.

While the pork is getting crispy, combine the diced white onion and cilantro in a bowl. Also, wash some butter lettuce leaves, slice up the avocados, radishes, and jalapeños. Grab your favorite salsa, and cut up some lime wedges.

Last but not least, grab your plate and assemble your own delicious tacos!

Sheet Pan Pork Chops with Squash and Potatoes

4 (1-inch-thick) frenched pork loin chops
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
2 medium yellow squash, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 large zucchini, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/2 pound small red potatoes, quartered

Place pork chops in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Whisk lemon juice, oil, garlic, oregano, pepper, and 2 1/2 teaspoons salt; reserve 2 tablespoons marinade. Pour remaining marinade over pork, turning to coat. Chill 1 to 8 hours.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine squash, zucchini, potatoes, and reserved marinade. Spread squash mixture in an even layer on a heavy-duty aluminum foil-lined rimmed sheet pan.

Remove pork from marinade, discarding marinade. Pat dry with paper towels, and place on top of squash mixture.

Bake 25 minutes. Increase temperature to broil, and broil until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 140°F, about 5 minutes. Transfer pork to a serving platter, and cover with foil. Return pan to oven, and broil squash mixture until slightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer squash mixture to a serving bowl; toss with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and serve with pork.

Sheet Pan Pork Chops with Apples and Brussels Sprouts

1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons light brown sugar, divided
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
4 (1-inch-thick) bone-in, center-cut pork chops
3 tablespoons plus 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 Gala apple (8 to 9 oz.), cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
Vegetable cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425°. Stir together first 5 ingredients, 1 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1 tsp. rosemary, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper in a small bowl. Rub each pork chop with 1/2 tsp. olive oil; rub both sides of each pork chop with brown sugar mixture (about 2 tsp. on each chop).

Whisk together apple cider vinegar and remaining 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1 tsp. rosemary, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper in a small bowl; slowly whisk in remaining 3 Tbsp. olive oil until blended. Place apples, Brussels sprouts, and 1/4 cup vinegar mixture in a large bowl, and toss to coat.

Place pork chops in center of a lightly greased (with cooking spray) heavy-duty aluminum foil-lined sheet pan; place apple mixture around pork chops.

Bake at 425° for 12 minutes; turn pork chops over, and bake 10 to 14 minutes more or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 140°. Transfer pork chops to a serving platter, and cover with foil to keep warm. Stir apple mixture in sheet pan, and spread into an even layer.

Increase oven temperature to broil, and broil apple mixture 3 to 4 minutes or until browned and slightly charred. Transfer apple mixture to a medium bowl. Toss together apple mixture and remaining vinegar mixture. Season with kosher salt, and serve with pork chops.

Sheet Pan Pork Chops with Beets

1 pound baby beets, peeled and halved
2 teaspoon grated garlic (about 3 garlic cloves)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
4 (12-oz.) bone-in pork loin chops
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, divided
3 cups finely shredded curly kale (stems removed)

Preheat broiler with oven rack about 10 inches from heat. Toss together beets, grated garlic, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Place on a large, lightly greased, aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Broil in preheated oven 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, rub pork chops with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Remove beets from oven, and nestle pork chops into beets. Return pan to oven. Bake until pork is just cooked through and beets are tender, about 15 minutes.

Whisk together sour cream, mustard, honey, 1 teaspoon of the thyme, 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small bowl. Transfer cooked beets to a large bowl; add shredded kale and 2 tablespoons of the sour cream mixture, and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand 5 minutes. Serve pork chops over vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons thyme, and serve with remaining sour cream mixture.

Slow-Cooked Pork Shoulder with Braised White Beans

Pork:

6 pounds bone-in pork shoulder (Boston butt), fat cap trimmed to ¼ inch
3 tablespoons Diamond Crystal or 5 teaspoons Morton kosher salt, plus more
8 fresh bay leaves, divided
1/4 cup sage leaves, plus 4 large sprigs
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
9 juniper berries
4 black peppercorns
3 cups dry white wine
1/4 cup best-quality red wine vinegar

Beans:

1 large beefsteak tomato, halved crosswise
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
4 large sprigs sage
2 cups coco nano or cannellini (white kidney) beans, soaked overnight, drained
2 tablespoons plus ¼ cup olive oil
Kosher salt
Greens and Assembly

2 bunches mature spinach, tough stems removed
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Flaky sea salt

Pork

Sprinkle pork all over with 3 Tbsp. or 5 tsp. salt. Tear 4 bay leaves and ¼ cup sage leaves into small pieces and scatter over pork. Place pork on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap; chill 12 hours.

Let pork sit at room temperature 1 hour. This will help it cook evenly.
Preheat oven to 450°. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high. Cook pork, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 15–20 minutes.

Transfer pork to a large plate.

Remove pot from heat and pour off any fat. Discard fat and any leaves in pot; wipe out pot. Add remaining 2 Tbsp. oil to pot along with garlic, juniper berries, peppercorns, sage sprigs, and remaining 4 bay leaves. Cook over low heat until garlic just starts to brown around the edges, about 1 minute. Pour in wine and vinegar.

Return pork to pot, placing fat side up, and cover with parchment paper, tucking edges down around sides of pork (this prevents it from drying out).

Cover pot with a lid, transfer to oven, and cook pork 30 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 300° and cook, turning pork every 30 minutes or so and adding a splash of water if braising liquid is reducing too quickly, until meat is very tender and pulling away from the bone, 2½–3 hours.

Let pork sit until cool enough to handle. Remove bones; discard. Shred meat into 2”–3” pieces, removing any excess fat (it should pull apart very easily but still hold together in pieces). Transfer meat to a large saucepan and strain braising liquid over; discard solids. Cover and keep warm over lowest heat until ready to serve.

Beans:

Combine tomato, garlic, sage, beans, and 2 Tbsp. oil in a large pot. Pour in cold water to cover by 1½” and bring to a simmer over medium heat, skimming foam from surface as needed. Reduce heat so that liquid is at a very gentle simmer; cook until beans are almost tender but still slightly starchy in the centers (you want them to be about 75 percent cooked), 35–45 minutes. Preheat oven to 300° while the beans are still cooking.

Remove beans from heat; season with several generous pinches of salt and add remaining 1/4 cup oil. Transfer to oven and bake without disturbing beans (you want a film to form on the surface) until tender, 15–25 minutes. Finishing the beans in the oven ensures that they are evenly cooked and creamy. Turn off oven and leave beans inside to keep warm until ready to serve.

Do Ahead: Beans can be made 1 day ahead. Let cool in liquid; cover and chill. Reheat gently before serving.

Greens and Assembly

Working in 2 batches, cook spinach in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender and no bite remains, about 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and let cool slightly, then squeeze out excess water.

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a medium skillet over medium and cook garlic, stirring, until softened and barely golden, about 1 minute. Add spinach and stir just to coat leaves in oil and warm through.

To serve, spoon beans plus a bit of their cooking liquid onto plates. Arrange several pieces of pork and spinach over beans. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

Braised Pork Shoulder with Apple Cider and Ginger Beer

1 5–6-pound boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt)
2 tablespoons kosher salt plus more
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound shallots (about 9 large)
12 garlic cloves (about 1 large head)
2 apples, peeled, quartered, cored
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups apple cider, preferably fresh
1 12-ounce bottle strong ginger beer (such as Reed’s)
3 sprigs rosemary

Season pork shoulder with 2 Tbsp. salt and pepper. Using kitchen twine, tie pork at 1/2-inch intervals, forming a compact cylinder. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours, or cover and chill overnight. If chilled, let pork stand at room temperature for 2 hours before continuing.

Preheat oven to 300°. Place pork in a large heavy ovenproof pot with a tight-fitting lid; arrange shallots, garlic, and apples around pork. Add broth, cider, and ginger beer. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, and transfer to oven.

Braise pork until a knife slides easily through meat, 4–5 hours. Let meat cool in braising liquid, then refrigerate until cold (the meat will slice more easily when cold).

DO AHEAD: Pork can be braised 3 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.

Preheat oven to 350°. Using tongs, transfer pork to a cutting board. Strain braising liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; discard fat and solids. Slice pork between kitchen twine and place in a large roasting pan.

Carefully remove twine, leaving slices intact. Pour braising liquid into pan to cover pork halfway (1 1/2–2 cups) and arrange rosemary over. Cover tightly with foil. Bake until pork is just heated through, 15–20 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour remaining braising liquid from bowl into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil sauce until reduced to 2 cups, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer sliced pork to a platter (discard any liquid in pan) and drizzle some of sauce over. Serve remaining sauce alongside.

Beer-Braised Carnitas

2 dried New Mexico or guajillo chiles
4 pounds skinless, boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), cut into 2-inch pieces
12 ounces lager
4 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
4 teaspoons kosher salt

Toast chiles in a dry large heavy pot over medium heat until slightly puffed and lightly darkened on both sides, about 2 minutes. Remove from pot; let cool. Stem chiles and halve lengthwise; discard seeds.

Bring chiles, pork, beer, garlic, salt, and 1 cup water to a boil in same pot. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pork is fork-tender, 60-80 minutes.

Uncover pork; simmer until liquid evaporates and pork begins to brown, 20-25 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring frequently and scraping bottom of pot, until pork is shredded and browned, 10-15 minutes.

Add 1 cup water to pork; cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot, for about 1 minute.

DO AHEAD: Carnitas can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool. Cover and chill. Reheat with 1/2 cup water in a covered pot, adding more water if needed to keep pork moist.

Pork Shoulder Braised with Apples

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
5 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 6 pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 medium shallots, thinly sliced
1/3 cup Calvados or other apple-flavored brandy
1 1/4 cups apple cider, preferably fresh
2 tablespoons (or more) apple cider vinegar
3 tart, firm apples (such as Pink Lady or Honeycrisp), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch wedges (about 4 cups)
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Chopped fresh chives

Place a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 325°. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring often, until browned and crisp, 6-8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add butter to pot with drippings. Season pork shoulder with salt and pepper. Working in batches if needed, cook pork shoulder, reducing heat as needed to prevent overbrowning, until brown on all sides, 8-10 minutes per batch. Transfer pork shoulder to a plate.
Add shallots to pot and cook, stirring often, until shallots begin to soften, about 4 minutes.

Remove pot from heat; add Calvados and stir, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot. Return to heat and simmer for 1 minute. Add apple cider and 2 tablespoons vinegar. Bring to a simmer, then return pork shoulder to pot, placing in a single layer on bottom of pot (the meat should not be completely covered).

Cover pot and transfer to oven. Braise pork shoulder, turning after 1 hour, until fork-tender, about 2 hours. Stir in reserved bacon. DO AHEAD: Bacon and pork shoulder can be cooked 2 days ahead. Let cool in braising liquid, uncovered. Chill, uncovered, until cold; cover and keep chilled. Rewarm before continuing.

Using tongs, transfer pork to a deep platter. Skim fat from cooking liquid. Place pot over medium heat and bring liquid to a simmer. Add apples and cook until apples are just tender and sauce is slightly reduced, 8-10 minutes.
Stir Dijon mustard into sauce; season with salt, pepper, and more vinegar, if desired. Pour sauce with apples over pork on platter. Sprinkle with chives.

Serve with Cheesy Grits.

Red Boat Fish Salt Bacon Rub (for Bahn Mi)

2 teaspoons black pepper, ground
1/2 teaspoon star anise, ground
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1 tablespoon coriander, ground
1/3 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
1 1/2 teaspoons Red Boat fish salt
1 pound bacon

Combine all dry ingredients, then add 1 lb of bacon. Toss to coat.

Lay bacon strips onto wire rack and pan to catch drippings.

Bake at 400 degrees until bacon is crisp.

For bahn mi:

Split a baguette and spread bottom half with cilantro-Maggi mayo. Add a layer of daikon and carrot pickles. (Make sure to drain and squeeze pickle to get rid of as much moisture as possible. you don’t want soggy pickles.) Add a few lettuce leaves. Add about 4-5 slices of pickled green tomatoes. Add 2-4 slices of bacon. Add a good layer of cilantro leaves. Close it up with the top half of the baguette.

Pressure Cooker Cuban Pork

8 garlic cloves
Juice of 1 grapefruit (about 2/3 cup)
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 4- to 5-pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 4 pieces
1 bay leaf
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for serving
Lime wedges, for serving
Hot Sauce, for serving
Tortillas, for serving (optional)
Fresh tomato salsa, for serving (optional)

In a blender or mini food processor, combine the garlic, grapefruit juice, lime zest and juice, 2 tablespoons of the oil, brown sugar, oregano, cumin, and salt; process until blended. Transfer to a large bowl and add the pork and bay leaf; toss to combine. Marinate, covered, at room temperature for 1 hour (or refrigerate for up to 6 hours).

Using the sauté function set on high if available, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pressure cooker (or use a large skillet). Remove the pork from the marinade, reserving the marinade, and shake the meat to remove any excess liquid. Cook until it is browned on all sides, about 12 minutes (you will need to do this in batches, transferring the browned pork pieces to a plate as you go).

When all the pork is browned, return the pieces to the pot along with any juices from the plate. (If you used a skillet, add 1 tablespoon water and use a wooden spoon to scrape the skillet well to include all the browned bits stuck to the bottom.) Add the reserved marinade to the pot. Cover and cook on high pressure for 80 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.

Remove the pork from the cooking liquid (jus). Taste the jus, and if it seems bland or too thin, boil it down either in the pressure cooker on the sauté setting or in a separate pot on the stove until it thickens slightly and intensifies in flavor, 7 to 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and add a bit of salt if necessary. If you’d like to degrease the jus, use a fat separator to do so, or just let the jus settle and spoon the fat off the top.

Shred the meat, using your hands or two forks. Toss the meat with the jus to taste (be generous—1 1/2 to 2 cups should do it), and serve with cilantro, lime wedges, and hot sauce.

Braised Eggplant with Minced Pork

1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
2 pounds eggplant, cubed
8 ounces ground pork
2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
2 teaspoons, plus 1 tablespoon light soy sauce (divided)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
10 ounces dried spaghetti or noodles
1 tablespoon, plus 3 tablespoons oil (divided)
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 red chili, chopped
2 tablespoons ground bean sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)

Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt into 8 cups of water in a large bowl. Soak the cubed eggplant in the salt water for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, drain the eggplant, and use your hands or a clean dish towel to squeeze the water out of it. Set aside. This step helps the eggplant cook faster and absorb less oil later on.

In a separate bowl, mix the ground pork with 2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine, 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper, 2 teaspoons light soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, and 2 teaspoons water. Marinate for 15-20 minutes.
Next, cook the spaghetti (or noodles) according to the package instructions. Drain, and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a clean wok over medium heat, and cook the bell pepper for about a minute. Transfer the peppers to a dish, and set aside.

Next, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in the wok over low heat. Cook the ginger and garlic for about a minute. Add the chili, and cook for another minute. Add the ground bean sauce, and cook for another minute. Then add the pork, and turn up the heat. When the pork is browned, add the eggplant, and stir-fry everything together thoroughly.

Cook for a couple of minutes before adding 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce, 1 tablespoon oyster sauce, and 2 cups water. Mix everything together well, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes over medium heat, or until the eggplant is tender. At this point in the cooking process, there should be plenty of sauce in the wok. The starch from the spaghetti or noodles will help thicken it.

Lastly, add the bell pepper, cooked noodles, and chopped cilantro to the wok (if using). Mix everything well, add salt to taste, and serve immediately!

Chendu-Style Sichuan Fried Rice

5 ounces Jinhua ham or any standard Asian salt cured ham
5 tablespoons oil
1 packet of suimi ya cai (2.8 oz./80g)
6 scallions, chopped
7 cups cooked jasmine rice
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
4 eggs, beaten

Place the jinhua ham in a heatproof bowl or plate. Heat up your choice of steaming device (e.g., an actual steamer pot, a wok with water and a metal rack, etc.), and steam the ham for 15 minutes.

Remove from the steamer and cool. Chop up the ham and then mince it finely.

Next, heat 5 tablespoons of oil in the the wok over high heat. Add the ham and stir fry until it’s lightly crisped at the edges. Add the suimi ya cai and stir fry for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the scallions and stir-fry until the scallions get lightly blistered.

Add the rice to the wok and stir fry to distribute the ingredients evenly. Spread the rice out in one layer and let “fry” for 2 minutes. Add the white pepper and Shaoxing wine. Stir the rice to combine.

Spread out again and let the rice fry for another 2 minutes. Stir to combine, and spread it out and let it fry again. Next, drizzle the beaten eggs over the rice. Stir fry the rice, allowing the egg to cook and distribute throughout. Serve!

Red Roast Pork

1/4 C hoisin sauce
1/4 C soy sauce
1/4 C honey
1/4 C Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
1 t Chinese five-spice powder
3 lbs boneless pork shoulder

Whisk the hoisin, soy sauce, honey, wine, and five-spice together in a small bowl. Transfer the marinade to a zip-top bag.

For quick-cooking, crusty, slightly chewy char

Slice the shoulder into 1/2 inch-thick slabs, then slice the slabs into 2-inch-long strips. Add to the marinade and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours and up to 48 hours.
 
Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
 
Remove the pork from the marinade, scraping off any excess. Lay the pork on a cooling rack or roasting rack set on the lined baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes, then flip and roast until the fat is sizzling and the pork is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Let rest a couple minutes before slicing and serving.

For shreddy, melty glazed pork shoulder:

Leave the meat in one piece, place it in the bag with the marinade, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before roasting.

Heat the oven to 300°F.
 
Set the pork in a roasting pan, reserving the marinade for basting. Roast the pork until the meat is completely tender, 4 to 5 hours, then baste with some of the reserved marinade.

Continue roasting and basting every 10 minutes or so until the pork is coated in a thick, shiny glaze, about 1 hour longer.

Remove from the oven and let rest 20 minutes before devouring.

Along with roast duck and crackly skinned pork, char siu—sweet, sticky, brick-red roast pork—is a fundamental part of Cantonese food, whether it’s stuffed into pillowy steamed buns or sliced thin on top of noodles. The results of this char siu recipe are worthy of hanging from a metal hook in a neon-lit window in Chinatown. Cut the pork shoulder into strips for quick cooking and to maximize roasty, crusty, glazy bits, or leave it whole to make a glazed roast you can pull apart at the dinner table. With rice and A warm vegetable, it’s a feast.

Rice Noodles with Spicy Pork and Herbs

1 pound thin, round rice noodles
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon black vinegar
1 tablespoon chile oil (like Lao Gan Ma brand)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon canola or other neutral oil
1/2 pound ground pork
1 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 1-inch piece ginger, chopped
2 scallions, light parts chopped, green parts reserved for garnish
1 tablespoon yacai (Sichuan preserved vegetables, optional)
Handful of herbs like mint, basil and cilantro leaves, washed
1/4 cup salted, roasted peanuts, chopped
4 breakfast radishes, sliced (optional)

Bring a large pot of water to boil, and cook noodles according to instructions. Drain noodles while running under cold water, until they are cool to the touch. Set aside. Mix dressing by whisking rice vinegar, soy sauce, black vinegar, chile oil and sugar until sugar dissolves. Set aside.

Cook the pork topping: Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat, and add ground pork and salt. Pan-fry, breaking meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until no pink parts and no liquid remain in the pan, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic, ginger and scallion whites, and stir occasionally until the raw smell has disappeared and the meat is starting to brown in places, about 5 minutes.

Add the vegetables, if using, along with a tablespoon of water, and cook for 2 or 3 minutes more, or until mixture is darkened and thick. Set aside.

When you’re ready to serve, divide cool, drained noodles into four individual bowls, and top each with a tablespoon of vinegar dressing followed by a pile of ground pork, herbs, peanuts and radishes, to taste. Serve with any remaining garnish, and additional chile oil and chile-oil solids, on the side.