In my younger days in LA, my brother and I ate a lot of pork, at least three to four times a week, making up for lost time for when we were children. Now I cook pork only once or twice a month at the most. There is a traditional Shanghainese dish called Hong Shao Rou — Red Braised Pork. It reminds me of happiness and contentment as I knew it as a child. It reminds me of Chinese New Year when we would always cook this braised pork in a large clay pot. You can take the girl out of Shanghai, but not Shanghai out of the girl.
1/2 cup cooking wine
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1/4 dark soy sauce (or you can use all light soy sauce)
3/4 – 1 cup water (you may not use all of it)
2 to 1 1/2 pounds pork shank
4 boiled eggs (optional)
1/4 cherry tomato (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
8 cloves garlic, bashed
2 inch cube peeled ginger, bashed
2 star anise
1 tbsp. brown sugar or molasses
1 tbsp. canola oil
Heat the oil in a wok on high.
Put in peppercorns, garlic, ginger, star anise, sauté for a minute.
Add cut pork shank to be seared at all sides.
Add soy sauce, wine, water and sugar and turn the fire to low.
Cover and stew for 2 hours. Adjust taste by adding a little more water or soy sauce.
Eat it with brown rice.