5 lbs. pork picnic shoulder with the rind on, or ham/shank end (hind leg)
2 1" slices of fresh ginger
4 scallions, cut into 2" sections
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup rice or Shaohsing wine
1 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp. rock sugar (to taste)
2 star anise
1 medium carrot, cut into large dice
1 tomato, quartered
1 small onion, quartered
6 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water until softened & then stemmed
2 cups water
Chopped fresh cilantro
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat (the pot should be just large enough to fit the pork comfortably - don't use a honking big stock pot). Add pork shoulder and cook for about 5 minutes. Skim off any foam that forms on top.
2. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Simmer, covered for 3-4 hours, or until the sauce is reduced to about 1 1/2 cups (if not, uncover the last 30 minutes and increase heat to medium).
4. Drain the water from the pan, rinse the pork briefly, and rinse out the pot. Return the pork back to the pot and add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 3-4 hours.
NOTE FOR CLAY POT COOKING: you can also transfer the mixture to a clay pot after cooking for two hours, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, then cover and simmer for another 1-2 hours.
Serve with steamed white rice on the side.
Drain the water from the pan, rinse the pork briefly, and rinse out the pot.
Place the blanched pork back into the pan, then add 2 cups water, onion, carrots, tomato, shiitakes, soy sauce, rice wine, rock sugar and star anise. Boil and then bring down to a low simmer. Cover and simmer for 3-4 hours or until the sauce has reduced to about 1 1/2 cups.
Voila! Garnish with some chopped fresh cilantro before serving.