Chinese New Year roast pork

It was Chinese New Year on Monday 23rd and we are now in the Year of the Dragon. We were watching the BBC1 TV programme Saturday Kitchen yesterday and Ken Hom was on, cooking a roast pork and egg-fried rice dish to celebrate the new year.

We love roast pork, especially with lots of lovely crackling so Sunday dinner was decided for us.

I had to modify Ken’s dish a bit because I was late getting to the butcher and all of the belly pork had sold out, so I bought a piece of boned and rolled loin and opened it out. The skin side had already been scored by the butcher, which I wouldn’t have bothered with if I’d had a piece of belly, but I scalded the skin with boiling water and wiped it dry just as I would have if it had been belly pork.

The meat side was rubbed with five-spice powder, caster sugar and crushed Sichuan peppercorns and the joint was left out on a rack so that the skin would stay dry.

It was roasted in a hot oven, on the rack in a dish of water, for about an hour and a half, less time than for belly, but loin lacks the fat to keep the meat moist.

The egg-fried rice was made with Thai fragrant rice that had been cooked earlier and allowed to cool on a tray. First, the rice was fried in hot sunflower oil and then two large eggs, beaten with pepper, salt and sesame oil were added and stirred into the rice. Before serving, the rice was garnished with chopped spring onions, which were stirred into the rice.

In addition to the pork and rice, I served some steamed pak choi, which was dressed with a simple sauce made from some oyster sauce, sesame oil and sweet chilli sauce.

To go with this, we had a nice bottle of red Burgundy from the Cave des Vignerons de Buxy, the 2007 AOC Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise Rouge Château du Cray, which is really drinking well now. It has a lot of good Pinot Noir character and soft red berry fruitiness and the tannins are really soft and integrated.

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