|5 pounds||Fresh Ham|
|3 tablespoons||Peanut oil|
|5 cups||Hot water|
|1 cup||Dark soy sauce|
|1 cup||Rice wine or dry sherry|
|3 tablespoons||Whole roasted Szechwan peppercorns|
|8 slices||Fresh ginger|
|4||Garlic cloves, peeled and crushed|
|6 tablespoons||Rock or ordinary sugar|
|2||Cinnamon sticks or bark|
|2 teaspoons||Five-spice powder|
This is a recipe from Ken Hom, an author of a number of excellent Chinese cookbooks. This is a "red-stewed" dish. (No reflection on Ken's politics..) The sauce can be kept as a "master sauce" and used over and over again gaining more subtlety and depth the longer you keep it going. Either freeze it or refrigerate and boil once a week.
Author's note: "This dish is easy to prepare, and can be made ahead of time. It reheats well and is also very good served cold--prefect for a dinner party or large gathering." Fresh ham, about 5 pounds (pork shoulder with bone may be used) Dry the ham thoroughly with paper towels. Cut the green onions into 3-inch segments
Choose a heavy casserole pot, large enough to hold the ham comfortably. Heat the pot and then add the oil, ginger, garlic and green onions, and stir-fry in the pot for 2 minutes. Push the aromatics to the side and brown the ham on each side until it has some color, 10 to 15 minutes. Pour off oil.
Add all the braising liquid ingredients to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover tightly, turning the ham from time to time. When the ham is tender, remove it gently with a large spatula. The meat should be literally falling apart. Place it on a serving platter.
Strain the sauce, skim off any surface fat and reduce the liquid until it is slightly thick. Pour this over the ham and serve.
Serves 8 as part of a Chinese meal.
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