Pork 17: Pork Braised with Ham (火腿根肉)

持牲單::火腿根肉
火腿切方塊,冷水滾三次,去湯瀝乾;將肉切方塊,冷水滾二次,去湯瀝乾;放清水煨,加酒四兩、蔥、椒、筍、香蕈。

A rack of Anfu ham, a type of Chinese dry-cured ham that may be used in this recipe. I’m not sure why the ham on the bottom are black. (Credit: WhisperToMe)

Pork(List of the Ceremonial Animal)::Pork Braised with Ham [1]
Cut the dry-cured ham into square pieces and boil them, starting from cold water three times in total, [2] and then strain dry. Cut the pork into square pieces, boil them from cold water twice [3] and strain them dry. Braise the prepared ham and pork together in water. To finish the dish, add to it four liang of wine, green onions, Szechuan pepper, bamboo shoots, and shitake mushrooms.

Random notes:
[1]: “Huotui gen rou” (火腿根肉), literally translated to “Ham root pork”, is a completely nonsensical name caused by a Qing Dynasty typesetting error, where 根 (root) was used instead of 煨 (braise). We know this since the following recipe refers back to this one as “Pork braised with Ham” (火腿煨肉).

[2]: This phrase can have two interpretations, both of which would slightly desalt and moisten the dried ham for further cooking: (1) The ham may have been boiled starting from cold water three times, where each time the water boils, it is discarded and replaced with fresh change of cold water. (2) The ham was boiled starting from cold water, but each time it boils the liquid was quenched by adding some cold water before being allowed to come to a boil again. The latter technique is also used to cook shuijiao (annoyingly named “Chinese dumplings” by some).

[3]: The boiling of the pork here is a common technique to prepare meats for stewing or braising. This rids the “gunk” from the surface of the meat as well as congeals any liquid blood still inside it, both of which would cloud-up the braising liquid and muddy the taste of the finished dish.

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