Despite my eagerness to try the Old Spot pig, I’m really not a huge fan of pork. I grew up on dry Shake ‘n’ Bake pork chops, and I dreaded porkchop night because that shit was nasty. I had to dip it in ketchup to make it even remotely palatable until I left my parents’ house at eighteen and didn’t have to eat it anymore. Eighteen, internet! Until recently, I thought of it like chicken breast — barely tolerable but okay if you hid it well enough I guess.
Enter southeast Asian cuisine. I didn’t get the chance to try anything but supermarket Chinese food until I was all grown up, and wow, my first taste of Thai was… pretty incredible, internet. My friends took me to this place right down the street, and I’m still a regular there, to the point that when I walk in they begin setting a table for three because they think that Tiki Bird and her husband are going to show up. As far as I’m aware, caramel pork isn’t on the menu (though usually I only have eyes for tom kha gai and eggplant stir-fry), but it ought to be, because it’s one of the best dishes that Thai cuisine has to offer.
- 1 pound pork stewing meat (you can cut up a picnic roast, too), cut into small pieces, leave the fat on
- ¼ onion, sliced into thin strips
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced, or 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil or lard
- 1½ Tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp gluten-free Tamari
- 4 Tbsp honey
- black pepper to taste
In a hot pan, fry onions and garlic (if you’re using cloves and not powder) until softened. Add pork and fry in the remaining oil until browned, about five minutes.
Turn the stove down to medium. Add Tamari, fish sauce, oyster sauce and black pepper (and garlic powder, if you’re using it). When the mix is boiling gently, add the honey. You don’t want the honey to get too hot, or it’ll burn, so continue to cook on low until you have a thick, sticky sauce.
Serve with some fresh fruit or baked pumpkin.