When you’re too busy — or too lazy — to do a lot of prepping in the kitchen, dishes that require little attention during cooking are simply perfect. Like this pork stew with spicy black beans and garlic sauce. You just brown the pork cubes, add the spices and seasonings, pour in broth and leave to cook slowly for an hour and a half. Result? Very tender and moist meat that is oozing with flavors.
Black beans refer to fermented black beans (tausi, in the Philippines) — soy beans fermented in brine. You can buy them in cans, in jars or even by the gram in markets.
- 1.2 kilograms pork belly (with bones), chopped into two-inch cubes
- 4 tablespoons vegetable cooking oil
- ¼ cup black beans drained
- 4 tablespoons minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes (or 2 bird’s eye chilies, chopped)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 4 cups bone broth preferably homemade
- ¼ cup Chinese cooking wine
- light soy sauce to taste
- 1 drizzle sesame seed oil
- finely sliced scallions to garnish
Place the black beans in a mortar and pound lightly with a pestle.
Heat the cooking oil in a wok or pan that is large enough to contain the pork cubes in a single layer. Add the chilies, black beans and garlic. Saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the pork cubes, in a single layer, and cook over high heat until browned, turning them over and sideways to brown all sides.
Add the rest of the ingredients except the light soy sauce. Allow to boil, uncovered, for about five minutes. Turn the heat to low, cover the wok or pan and simmer the pork for an hour to an hour and a half.
After an hour, check the pork and taste the sauce. If it tastes bland, add light soy sauce.
When the pork is done, if the sauce appears too thin, turn up the heat and boil the pork for a couple of minutes, uncovered, until the sauce reduces and is thicker.
Fish out the star anise and cinnamon stick. Transfer the pork to a serving bowl, pour in the sauce, drizzle some sesame seed oil and garnish with finely sliced scallions.