We just had a lovely long weekend at home with my sister and her fiance staying. My sister introduced me to the Almost Bourdain blog which sadly finished recently. We found this recipe for Babi Kecap Pork which not only looked delicious but had the great advantage of using kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) and tamarind water, both of which I have quite a bit of and don't use much, as well as pork shoulder which I had in the freezer.
I cooked it all day in the slow cooker and it was fantastic, we ate all of it between the 4 of us. There was no way the kids would have eaten it (they had two minute noodles which they were thrilled about:) but I will try it again without the chilli and I think they will enjoy the sweet salty sauce (and I will add chilli flakes to my serve!).
We followed it up with a delicous apple pie cooked by Amelia and Adam - I love guests who cook us delicious food (and are great company) - thanks for the pie, pancakes, caesar salad, hamburgers and guacamole!
Babi Kecap in the Slow Cooker - Slow Braised Pork with Ginger, Chilli and Sweet Soy Sauce
recipe adapted for the slow cooker from Almost Bourdain who adapted it from Rick Stein's Far East Odyssey
I used the last of the summer's chillis from my garden - one long red and two jalapenos chopped seeds and all - it was the perfect spiciness.
2 tbsp vegetable oil
100 g shallots, thinly sliced
50 g garlic, crushed
25 g peeled ginger, finely grated
1.25 kg lean pork shoulder, in 3cm chunks
4 tbsp kecap manis
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp Tamarind water
1/2 tsp pepper
3-4 medium-hot chillies, seeded and chopped
4 red bird's eye chillies, left whole
500 ml asian chicken stock
Crisp fried shallots, to garnish
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add the shallots and fry until they are soft and richly golden. Add the crushed garlic, ginger and 1/2 tsp salt and cook for 1 minute. Add to the slow cooker, or set aside.
Add the pork to the pan and fry for 2 minutes until lightly coloured. Put in the slow cooker. Add the kecap manis, dark soy sauce, tamarind water, pepper, chopped and whole chillies and stock (only enough to almost cover the meat). Cook in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours or on the stove leave to simmer, uncovered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring now and then towards the end of cooking, until the pork is tender.
Lift the pork out of the sauce with a slotted spoon onto a plate. Boil the cooking liquid until it has reduced to a well-flavoured, slightly thicken, shiny, dark brown sauce. Season to taste with salt, return the pork to the pan and stir in. Spoon the pork onto a warmed serving plate, scatter with the crisp fried shallots and serve.
Serve with rice and greens.