Recipe for Easy, Excellent Pork Roast With Chestnuts!


Easy and Excellent Pork Roast With Chestnuts … ‘au francais’
Epaule de Porc avec Châtaignes

Epaule de Porc avec Chataignes

Tenderest pork I’ve ever eaten

First, I have a confession to make. Philippe adores chestnuts, a classic winter food in France. I’ve grown to love them as well, but don’t have many of ideas of how to use them for cooking. So when I spotted a recipe for an intriguing sounding pork roast with chestnuts in an English magazine, I decided to try it.

Philippe, his mother and French friends raved about it. They’ve even asked me for the recipe, an incredible compliment from the French. I must admit I pretended it was a dish I ran across on my favorite French recipe site, rather than a Chinese inspired recipe. I changed the name from Roast Pork with Chestnuts to “Epaule de Porc Avec Châtaignes” and they were duly impressed. The highest compliment came from our Belgian cousins who want to cook it for their Christmas dinner!

However you decide to call it, this is an easy and truly delicious recipe for any occasion. This pork shoulder is slowly braised in an Asian style broth with delicious, subtle juices to pour over.

Epaule de Porc avec Châtaignes

The chestnuts blend perfectly with the Asian style sauce

The chestnuts blend perfectly with the Asian style sauce

This is the most tender pork roast I’ve ever tasted. Serve with rice and a steamed vegetable such as: bok choy (pak choy), swiss chard, napa cabbage, Chinese broccoli or a mix. The pork sauce is so delicious you simply steam the vegetable, no seasonings required.

Serves 8
2 Tbsp peanut oil or other nut oil
1 whole, bone-in pork shoulder, 3 kg or 6.5 lbs. Remove skin and surface fat
1/3 C (90 ml) of light soy sauce
2 – 3 whole star anise
4 -5 garlic cloves, peeled
1 inch (5cm) piece ginger root, peeled and sliced
5 spring onions
1 cinnamon stick
Optional: 1 dried chili and 6 shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted and sliced
3 Tablespoons light brown soft sugar
250 ml Rice wine or Pale Dry Sherry
500 ml Chicken stock
4 C (480 g or 1 large can) of cooked chestnuts

Heat oven to 340°F (170 °C)
Heat peanut oil in a large casserole and brown pork on both sides
Add all ingredients except for the chestnuts and enough broth (or water) to cover pork
Bring the mixture to boil
Cover and cook for 3 ½ – 4 hours, until the pork is tender
Check hourly to ensure the shoulder is half covered with liquid; add broth or water as needed

About 30 min before pork finished, add all the chestnuts and continue cooking for 30 minutes

Steam bok choy, or any vegetable you like.  Use a mild one because the pork sauce will blend with the veggies
Spoon fat off the pork and serve with rice!

Note: you can prepare this in advance and half an hour before finish remove from heat and refrigerate the pork for up to 3 days. Remove from frig, scrape the fat from the stock, add the chestnuts, cook for 30 minutes and serve.
Secret is the subtle and unexpected mixture of ginger, whole star anise and cinnamon

secret is the star anise ginger and cinnamon

Our friends loved the taste, but couldn’t figure out the secret ingredients: star anise, ginger, cinnamon, garlic and sherry

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