cranberry and SLOW ROASTED PORK
shoulder IN CHINESE PANCAKES
This recipe is in collaboration with
This recipe is inspired by the classic duck pancake, but I have switched the duck to a more accessible (and easier to cook) pork shoulder and used Ocean Spray jellied cranberry instead of the traditional plum sauce. The cranberry jelly has the perfect sweetness with that little tang, and when mixed with the juicy pork, fresh vegetables, fiery chilli, herbs and crushed peanuts...all wrapped up in a soft pancake - it is got it ALL going on! This recipe is ideal for weekends and is great for dinner parties and sharing! It does take a bit of time to prepare, but most of the prep can be done in advance, and the pork slow cooks to perfection while you socialise with your guests. For an even easier alternative, you can also buy pre-made Chinese pancakes from the freezer section of an Asian supermarket (around $3 for 10 pieces at mine).
SERVES | 6-7
MAKES | 22 pancakes, each person would need 3-4 as a main
TIME | Being the day before to dry rub the pork | Preparation 1 - 1 1/2 hours | Cooking time 5 hours +
NOTES FOR PREPARING IN ADVANCE: You will need a 20cm nonstick frying pan for the pancakes. Once the pancakes are cooked they can be frozen, with a layer of baking paper in between each one for up to 3 months. Or make a day ahead, store in an airtight container in the fridge, and then bring to room temperature before serving. The peanuts can be roasted, crushed and stored in an airtight container several weeks in advance. All vegetables can be cut a few hours ahead, just put each vegetable type into individual bowls or containers (individual so their colours do not seep into each other), covered in cold water to keep them fresh and crisp.
For the pork
2.5kg pork shoulder or pork roast (bone-in!)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried chill flakes
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 onions, peeled and sliced
5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1x 5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
(+ Soy sauce, lemon juice to season one the pork is cooked)
For the Chinese pancakes (Makes 22 - feel free to the half recipe if needed)
8 free-range eggs
3 cups cold water
2 cups tapioca flour (available from Asian supermarkets)
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Canola oil for cooking
1 cup raw peanuts (unsalted)
3 large carrots
1 bunch spring onions
1 long cucumber
1-2 fresh chillies (or your favourite hot sauce)
1 jar Ocean Spray jellied cranberry
1x small bunch of coriander leaves plucked
The day before, dry rub the pork. To do this, rinse the pork shoulder under cold water, then pat dry with paper towels, and set aside in a roasting dish. In a bowl, combine the smoked paprika, brown sugar, chilli flakes, salt and pepper and rub over the pork. Cover and place in the fridge.
The next day before you cook the pork, preheat the oven to 180°C and roast the peanuts (for serving) on an unlined tray with sides. Cook for 5 minutes before checking and continue to cook until golden brown. You will need to allow these to cool completely before crushing, if they are too hot (and also salted peanuts) they will not crush with ease. I crush mine with a mortar and pestle to get a nice even texture, you can also do this in a processor, just make sure you do not process too fine crumbs. Set aside for now. Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C and make sure there is a rack on the lowest level to roast the pork.
For the pork, place the sliced onions, crushed garlic and grated ginger in the bottom of the roasting tray around the dry-rubbed pork. Pour in just enough water so that the surface of the dish is covered and then cover tightly with tin foil. Roast for 5 hours or until the pork pulls with ease.
While the pork is roasting, you can make the pancakes. For the batter, put all of the ingredients into a food processor, and blend until well combined or whisk until super smooth with no lumps, then pour into a jug and cover. Let it sit for 30 minutes. This is essential as it allows the gluten in the flour to relax. While this is sitting, crush the cooled peanuts you have previously roasted, and set them aside. You can also begin to prepare and slice your vegetables. After 30 minutes, to cook the pancakes heat a 20cm non-stick fry pan on medium-low heat. When warm, brush with a little canola oil and pour in 1/3 cup of batter into the pan swirling gently in a circular motion until the liquid is set. Cook for 30 seconds, then flip and cook for a further 30 seconds. The pancake should be light with no colour. Set on a plate and repeat the process until all the batter is used, stacking the pancakes and keeping covered as you go.
For the vegetables for serving, slice the carrots into thin strips, slice the radish finely - I used a mandoline and cut the cucumber into thin sticks (I discard the very centre, seedy part). As mentioned above, these can be kept in separate bowls or containers covered with cold water to keep crisp before serving. The only vegetable I would not add to water would be the cucumber, as this would go soggy. For the spring onions, slice into very thin strips and plunge into the water with ice cubes. The icy water is what makes them curly. Slice the chillies finely, and then set everything aside until serving.
When the pork is cooked, cool it enough so you can handle it, then discard any of the fatty skin from around the pork. Shred the pork by using two forks to 'pull it' and place it in a separate bowl for now. Keeping only about 1 1/2 cups max of liquid in the bottom of the roasting dish, discard any excess but keep the onions, garlic and ginger. These will be incredibly soft, so crush these into the remaining liquid and fold the pork back into it. Season to taste with soy sauce, a squeeze or two of lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm until you are ready to serve.
To serve to place everything into bowls + the jar of jellied cranberry and coriander, and set in the middle of the table. To make a pancake, spread with the jellied cranberry, top with some sliced vegetables, pork, peanuts, chilli (or hot sauce) and coriander. Roll up and enjoy!