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the goods

for the marinade:

2 tblspns chopped fresh ginger

6 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

2 tblspns dried shrimp

2 tblspns hoisin sauce

1 tspn Asian sesame oil

1/4 cup coconut vinegar (any pale vinegar)

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tspn sambal olek (chili paste) or 1 minced chili

1 tblspn fish sauce

for the stuffing:

3 links Chinese sausage (about 1/2 cup chopped)

8 oz can water chestnuts, drained

6 shallots, chopped (including the green tops)

4-6 shitake mushrooms (reconstituted if using dried)

3.5 - 4 lb pork butt

3-4 star anise

you will need:

  • food processor or blender/ immersion blender
  • baking dish
  • kitchen string

time: 20 minutes active,

2 days marinating

4-5 hours roasting





Chinese style roasted, stuffed pork butt

This is one of those dishes that came out of the oven, smelling, looking and tasting as good as I'd hoped.

Everyone at the table indulged my proud "I made this!" expression as they busied themselves with getting a second helping.

This is also a recipe which brings out the adolescent sniggers in me: Pork butt (snigger), stuffed with sausage (snigger) and shitake (snigger, snigger).

But there is no other way to describe it; pork butt is possibly the best bit of the beast. Perfect for a slow, steady roasting. The stuffing and marinade added so much flavour; the pan juices made the most unbelieveable sauce. We were fighting over it!

Served simply with some rice and steamed vegetables. This was a winner.

Mix all the marinade ingredients and blend into a paste. I prefer using my handheld immersion blender, but anything will do.

Place the pork butt fat side down onto a cutting board. It should be vaguely rectangular in shape. You need to double butterfly it: slice lengthways, through the meat almost to the fat . Part the flesh and then butterfly each side by slicing lengthways again along each side. Be careful not to cut too far through the meat.

Spread the marinade all over the meat and place it in a dish, pour the excess marinade over the meat, cover and refrigerate overnight, up to 2 days.

Remove meat from fridge 2 hours before cooking.

Peel the skin off the sausage links and dice them. Chop the shallots, shitake and water chestnuts. Mix together.

Pre heat oven to 400f

Cut three lengths of string, each about 18 inches long, and place them across a cutting board, spaced about 6 inches apart.

Place the pork butt, fat side down over the cutting board and open it out so that the meat is spread out.

Spread the stuffing along the middle of the pork, then roll the two sides back up. Secure by tying the three pieces of string; one at each end of the meat and one in the middle.

Place tied pork butt into an oven pan, fat side up,  and pour every bit of marinade over it. Tuck a star anise under each bit of string, kind of studded into the fat.

Roast at 400f for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 300f and cook for about 4 hours, basting only a couple of times. The roast will be a rich, dark colour. If you feel that it is burning, reduce the heat to 275f

Remove from oven, cover with foil and let stand 20 minutes

Pour the pan juices into a fat separator to skim the fat and serve the juices as a side sauce. If you do not have a fat separator, then tilt the pan, pour off as much fat as you can and then pour the juices into a serving jug.

Serve with steamed rice (I used brown) and some cabbage, snow peas, shitake and bok choi which have been steamed and tossed through some sesame or peanut oil.

leftovers: buy a packet of potsticker / wan ton  / gyoza wrappers. Blend the chopped up pork leftovers, some of the cabbage and rice into a rough paste and make some potstickers. Heat a little peanut oil in a skillet, add the potstickers, cover and fry for 2-3 minutes, then add a few tablespoons of chicken stock, cover and steam 2-3 minutes. Serve with steamed green beans and a dipping sauce made from soy sauce, chili paste and chopped ginger.