So I’ve finally given in and decided to share my signature recipe. As usual with these things, it’s important that you experiment with what works for you, but the basic recipe will get you close to the real deal.
I came across this dish originally in a Chinese restaurant in Doncaster. It’s not there now; don’t look for it. What caught my attention was the note that said it was made with “pork, of the day”. When I asked the manager what that meant he said: “you wan?” Irish, as I recall.
That original dish was simultaneously oily and breathtakingly hot. Over the years I’ve refined the preparation, but it’s important that the ingredients are, basically, whatever you’ve got.
There is, of course, a small risk of lung damage during the preparation. And it’s perfectly normal for some of your face to go numb after a few bites. But I’m sure you’ll agree it’s worth it when the whole thing comes together in a bowl or plate or just right out of the pan.
PORK BASTARD WITH A SIDE OF SPROUTS
- One onion, any kind
- Some garlic. No: more than that
- Chillis from the bag in the freezer
- Pork of the day, basically whatever you’ve got to hand – here I’ve used some roasted gammon
- Maple syrup
- Pomegranate molasses, if you’re feeling fancy
- Nam pla
- Sprouts, perhaps 800g or so
- You’ll want to have a drink before you start
- Finely chop the onion, garlic and chilli and start to sweat them with some oil (any will do, let’s not get daft)
- You should probably have put the sprouts on maybe five minutes ago
- Turn the heat up on the onion mix. Give it a stir and retreat to another room whilst the worst of the chilli vapour dissipates. Maybe watch some sport
- Hey: remember you were cooking? Head back to the kitchen and catch your breath – gasaaah too late. You’ll need to get on the floor and stay there for a while until your vision clears and the coughing relents. Maybe fuss a cat whilst you’re down there
- Time to make that onion mix consumable! Sprinkle some sugar onto the still-frying onion mix. It won’t be enough, but rather than put more on, use maple syrup instead. Still not enough though, yeah? Pomegranate the life out of it. Shit it’s probably too sweet now, right? Use enough Nam Pla to make the house smell like horse urine. Take the caramelised mix off the heat and scrape what you can into a bowl
- Heat the pork. If it’s raw, you’ll need to cook it, obviously. For everything else, just wag it at the heat until it starts to wilt a bit
- Drain the sprouts and put them all in a bowl
- Decant the sprouts into a bigger bowl: there are more sprouts than you were expecting, right? Make a well in the centre of the sprouts
- Tip the onion mix onto the pork and shake the pan. Pick up the bits that’ve escaped and pop them back in the pan, unless there’s cat hair on them, in which case, just eat them
- Tip the pork and onion mix onto the sprouts and stick your fork into the centre
- Photograph and post on FaceBook
- Eat, cry a little