Aromatic Glazed Pork with Asian Plum Sauce

We have used pork neck or belly for this recipe. The neck is a lovely tender cut of meat, well-marbled with fat which keeps it succulent and juicy. Belly roast contains more visible fat; some people find this cut too fatty, it really is about personal preference, both cuts work well for this dish. Ask our butcher to debone the cut and roll it, tying up with string so it doesn’t come apart. You can cook this in the oven or on the braai; if you decide to use the braai, par-cook it first in the oven until about ½ way, to ensure the inside cooks through. The glaze is Asian-inspired and gives the pork an interesting aromatic pepperiness without the burn. The plum sauce with its sweet-sour overtones completes the picture; if you want it “hot” simply add some chilli flakes or fresh chilli. The sauce is also lovely with chicken.

A great accompaniment to this meat dish would be a stir-fry of assorted Asian vegetables, like Chinese cabbage, mange tout, oyster mushrooms, peppers, bok choy.

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Cooking Methods

  • Roasting

Prep Time

25 minutes

Cooking Time

70 minutes

Ingredients

Pork

    1 pork neck, deboned or belly, about 1.5 kg

Glaze

    5 ml Food Lover’s Lemon Juice
    15 ml 5-spice powder
    60 ml soy sauce
    60 ml sherry
    30 ml Food Lover’s Honey
    5 ml finely chopped garlic
    5 ml xylitol
    10 ml hoisin sauce
    20 ml butter

Plum sauce

    --(We use dark-skinned plums and include their skins in the cooking as this gives the sauce a beautiful deep hue.)
    1 kg dark-skinned plums, pits removed
    125 ml apple cider vinegar
    125 ml xylitol
    1 small red onion, finely chopped
    60 ml soy sauce
    10 ml garlic, finely chopped
    10 ml fresh ginger, finely grated
    5 ml yellow mustard seeds
    5 ml 5-spice powder

Directions

Glaze

    Add all ingredients for the glaze to a saucepan; heat gently to allow the spices to release their flavor. You should have an aromatic lumpy sauce. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
    Place pork neck in a Ziploc bag, add the sauce and seal. Shake to ensure the entire neck is covered in marinade and place in fridge to marinate overnight.
    Remove pork from fridge and empty entire contents of bag into a small roasting pan.
    Preheat oven to 180 deg C and cook pork for 60 – 70 minutes, or until a knife inserted runs clear, basting frequently with the sauce and pan juices.
    Cover if the pork starts getting too dark; you want a deep glossy brown but not burnt-looking.
    Remove from oven and allow to stand for about 15 minutes, then carve into slices and serve with the plum sauce.

Plum sauce

    Roughly chop the plum flesh. In a saucepan, place all ingredients except the plums and heat.
    Bring to a simmer and allow the spices to release their aroma, then add the chopped plum flesh.
    Bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly and allow to cook until the plums become very soft and pulpy, about 25 minutes.
    Taste mixture and adjust seasoning if you desire.
    Some people like a more spicy, less tart sauce, others vice versa. If you want a smoother sauce, use a stick blender and blend to your desired consistency. Makes about 500 ml

Notes

NB We have used xylitol for a lower-carb healthy option.

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