CELEBRATE THE YEAR OF THE PIG—AND SUPER BOWL LIII—WITH MING TSAI'S PORK SLIDERS
IF SUPER BOWL LIII will mark the unofficial end of the sports calendar 2018--19, it will also lead into the Chinese New Year. So to help ring in the Year of the Pig while you enjoy the big game of pigskin (actually, a misnomer; see page 52), we asked celebrity chef Ming Tsai of Blue Dragon restaurant in Boston to cook up a tasty Super Bowl--Chinese New Year pork party dish.
"For Chinese New Year you traditionally eat a whole animal—a whole fish or a whole lobster—because that brings wholeness into the New Year," Tsai explains. "Now that's not very practical to get a whole suckling pig for the average person, so instead, make this recipe using a whole pork butt if you can."
The sliders make the perfect Super Bowl party food because the meat can be prepared early and left in its braising liquid to stay warm through the entire game. The pineapple slaw, high in vitamin C and antioxidants to promote a healthy immune system, gives them a bright, acidic crunch.
To wash it all down, we asked bartenders from Boston and Los Angeles to come up with a punch or a cocktail to represent their cities (recipes on page 22).
RED ROAST PORK SLIDERS WITH PINEAPPLE SLAW
1 bottle dry red wine, such as cabernet
2 cups soy sauce
2 cups water
14 ounces rock sugar (or 2 cups dark brown sugar)
5 pieces ginger, long ¼-inch slices
1 head of garlic, unpeeled and halved crosswise
2 bunches scallions, white part sliced into 3-inch lengths, green part sliced ⅛-inch
2 star anise pods
3 dried Thai bird chilis
2 cinnamon sticks
4-pound boneless pork butt, cut into
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pineapple slaw (recipe below)
*Note about the pork: Tsai suggests using whole bone-in pork butt. If so, triple the recipe to make sure there is enough liquid to cover.
1. In a 6-quart pressure cooker, over high heat, add the wine, soy sauce and water. Bring to a boil.
2. Add sugar, ginger, garlic, white part of scallions, star anise, chilis, cinnamon sticks and stir to dissolve the sugar. Taste the liquid for seasoning. Your meat will taste exactly as the liquid it cooks in.
3. Season the pork lightly with salt and pepper and add pork to the cooker. If the liquid doesn't cover the pork, add more water. Lock the lid in place and bring to high pressure and cook for about one hour in the pressure cooker. (You can also slow braise this for four hours on the stove top if preferred.) Remove from heat and let the pressure release naturally.
4. Carefully remove the lid, tilting it away from you to avoid any excess steam. With a slotted spoon, remove the pork to a platter and shred.
5. Add the pork back to the liquid and keep warm. Alternatively, you can also add both the meat and liquid to a slow cooker to keep warm.
6. Lightly toast the buns right before serving. To serve, add shredded pork to the bun, top with slaw.
2 cups ripe pineapple, julienned
2 cups white cabbage, julienned
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1-2 tablespoons sambal (depending on your heat preference)
Juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Combine all ingredients and set aside for one hour.
Recipe courtesy of Ming Tsai, chef and owner of Blue Dragon and president of the national advisory board for the charity Family Reach.
THE BAR CART
1½ oz. Privateer True American Amber Rum
¾ oz. lemon juice
¾ oz. honey
3 hefty dashes of Angostura bitters
Top with ginger beer and garnish with a lemon twist laid flat in the drink
"Boston is historically a rum town," says Diego Alejandro Peña-Herrera, bar manager at Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks. "This is a refreshing highball to enjoy while not risking too much spillage."
WAKE UP LATE PUNCH
750 ml gin
750 ml cognac
19 oz. lemon juice, fresh squeezed
2¼ cup superfine sugar
2 pints fresh raspberries
100 oz. soda water
"Muddle the raspberries and sugar together until it makes a paste and let it sit for an hour," says Bryan Tetorakis, head bartender at L.A.'s The Varnish. "Add the lemon juice and mix until the sugar dissolves. Fine-strain it into a large punch bowl, then add the gin, cognac, soda and a large block of ice."