THE TROUGH: Hot and Sour Rhubarb Pork

I love rhubarb. It’s one of the few vegetables that people find acceptable in dessert settings, and mostly, you see it as an element in pies, pastries, and compotes. Funny thing though, rhubab, despite its reputation as a dessert ingredient, isn’t actually sweet; it’s sour, sour, sour. This excellent braised pork dish, adapted from one by Jamie Oliver, takes advantage of rhubarb’s sourness to create a fresh, complex flavor.

Now, I know that we’ve done a lot with weeknight meals; things that are quick and easy, and can be prepared and consumed in the small space of time between work and sleep. But not every day is a week day, and not every meal has to move from raw ingredients to digestion in as brief a time as possible. This recipe takes some time, but is 100% worth it.

Ingredients

1.5 lbs. boneless pork shoulder
1 lb. rhubarb stalks
1 piece fresh ginger (about the size of your thumb)
4 cloves of garlic
6 scallions
2 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp Sriracha or similar hot sauce (can also do 1-2 fresh chiles)
1 Tbsp 5-spice
4 cups cooked rice vermicelli (approximately one package)
4 cups arugula or salad mix
1/4 cup cilantro

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Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut your pork shoulder into cubes, and place in an oven-proof dish.

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The pork is ready for braising.

Take rhubarb, ginger, garlic, two scallions, sriracha, honey, soy sauce, and lime juice, and pulse in a food processor until they’re a paste. Add about 1/4 cup of water, and pour over the pork pieces. Make sure that the marinade gets in and around all of the pork. Cover your dish with foil, and bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until the pork is tender.

While the pork is baking, do some laundry, read a book, play with your dog, and just generally enjoy the day.

Once the pork is tender, remove from the oven and uncover your dish.

Over medium heat, sautee the braised pork cubes until they’re crispy. Do this in batches, otherwise your pork won’t crisp. Keep pork warm in the oven after sauteeing.

Pour remaining marinade into a medium sauce pan, and reduce until slightly thickened. Taste for salt and pepper.

Cook the rice noodles according to your package, and drain.

In large-ish bowls, place a layer of your arugula or salad mixture. Then add rice noodles and pork. Pour some of the sauce over the dish, and garnish with cilantro, remaining scallions, and more hot sauce.

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Yum!

Nutrition

Calories: 958
Carbohydrate: 67 g
Protein: 59 g
Fat: 49 g

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