Pork 20: Smoked Braised Pork (燻煨肉)

持牲單::燻煨肉
先用秋油、酒將肉煨好,帶汁上木屑略燻之,不可太久,使乾濕參半,香嫩異常。吳小谷廣文家,制之精極。

A modern interpretation of smoked braised pork by the Morning Shanghai Restaurant in Richmond, BC. (Credit: Morning Shanghai Restaurant)

Pork(List of the Ceremonial Animal)::Smoked Braised Pork
First, braise the pork in autumn sauce and wine until done. [1] Next, smoke the braised pork briefly with its cooking juices over smouldering wood shavings. The pork will be slightly dry on the outside, moist inside, and extremely fragrant and tender. The household of Wu Xiaogu “Guangwen” [2] excelled in preparing this dish.

Random notes:
[1]: Considering how strong the smoke taste will be, the braising can be done either in the manner of Red-braised pork or the second method of White-braised Pork.

[2]: I could not find any information about what is a Guangwen (廣文), but it sounds rather Official-like. So there. thankfully Mr/Mrs/Dr Chan was kind enough to point out that it’s likely a pen name.

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Pork 4: Two Ways of Preparing Stomach (豬肚二法)

持牲單::豬肚二法
將肚洗淨,取極厚處,去上下皮,單用中心,切骰子塊,滾油炮炒,加作料起鍋,以極脆為佳。此北人法也。南人白水加酒煨兩枝香,以極爛為度,蘸清鹽食之亦可;或加雞湯作料煨爛,燻切亦佳。

A cleaned pork stomach ready for culinary action with all the slimy gunk scrubbed away, the tough membranes sliced out, and unsavory bits trimmed off. (Credit: Michel Venot)

Pork(List of the Ceremonial Animal)::Two Ways of Preparing Stomach
Wash the stomach clean and reserve its thickest part. [1] Discard its tough inner and outer membranes, using only the muscular middle layer. [2] Dice the stomach, stir-fry it in boiling hot oil, season, and then plate it. For this Northern method of preparation, the crisper the meat’s texture, the better it is. [3]

The Southern method involves braising the stomach in a mixture of water and wine for a period of two incense sticks until sufficiently soft. It is then eaten dipped in plain salt. The stomach is also delicious braised until soft with the rights seasonings in chicken broth, then smoked and sliced. [4]

Random notes:
[1]: Pig stomach has a fantastic crispness (脆彈, lit. crisp and bouncy) when cooked a-point and a soft springy texture (“Q”) when braised. The only problem is that it’s an absolute pain to clean. There is a lot of slicing, scrubbing, massaging, scraping, rinsing, and parboiling to rid the stomach of its sliminess and smell. Just Google “洗猪肚” (washing pig stomach) and you’ll see numerous articles devoted to the subject and numerous strategies to speed up the process. My mother cleaned tripe using Coca-Cola, which appears to also work for pig stomachs.

[2]:The inner membrane is the mucosa and the outer membrane is the serosa, both of which need to be removed before stir-frying due o their tough and unpleasant textures. Only the orthogonal layers of smooth muscle tissues and connective tissue are used in the dish, providing the a nice “crisp” bite.

[3]: An example of stomach cook in this fashion is the famous Shandong dish: Youbao shuangcui (油爆雙脆, lit. two crisp items stir-fried in boling oil), which consists of rapidly stir-fried “chrysanthemum” cut chicken gizzards and pig stomach.

[4]: Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t this together make three methods and not two?