Kung Pao pork osso bucco with black rice risotto

By Bianca Osbourne
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Ingredients

Black rice risotto:

  • 1 cup (240 ml) shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated and chopped (stems removed, reserve 1 cup of liquid)
  • 1-1/2 cups (350 ml) wood ear mushrooms, rehydrated and chopped
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 5 scallions, whites only, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch (2.5 cm) piece of ginger, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) Shaoxing wine
  • 1-1/2 cups (350 ml) black rice
  • 8 cups (1.9 L) light chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) soy sauce
  • 1/2 orange, zest only
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) Chinese five spice
  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) MSG
  • Salt and white pepper

Kung Pao pork osso bucco:

  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) vegetable oil, divided
  • 6 scallions, whites only, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 inch (4 cm) piece ginger, finely grated
  • 4 dried chili peppers, chopped
  • 1 fresh red Thai chili pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 cups (470 ml) chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) light soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) rice vinegar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons (22.5 ml) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1 cup blanched cashews, unsalted
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) water
  • 4 pork osso bucco shanks
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) flour
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) cold butter, cubed
  • White toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Butter and lime edamame:

  • 1 cups (240 ml) edamame beans, out of shell
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) butter
  • Salt
  • 1 lime, juice

Directions

  1. For the black rice risotto, heat vegetable and sesame oils in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook red onions, scallions, garlic, and ginger until translucent, about three to four minutes. Add the black rice and stir to coat. Cook for one minute, until crackling.
  2. Add both mushrooms and toss. Cook for two minutes, then deglaze with Shaoxing wine, and stir constantly until reduced.
  3. Add the mushroom stock, stirring often until the stock is absorbed and the rice is starting to stick.
  4. Keep the pan at a gentle simmer and start adding the chicken stock, one cup at a time, stirring frequently, and allowing the liquid to absorb completely before adding the next cup.
  5. Once all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is quite tender, turn the heat down to low before completely reducing the last bit of stock. The stock in the pan should be slightly thick from the starch.
  6. Season with soy sauce, MSG, Chinese five spice, orange zest, salt, and white pepper, and cook for one minute to allow the seasoning to be well distributed.
  7. Before serving, remove from heat, and swirl in the cold butter to form a rich sauce.
  8. For the Kung Pao pork osso bucco, heat half of the vegetable oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add scallions and garlic, and cook for two to three minutes, until translucent.
  9. Add ginger, fresh and dry chili, carrot, celery, and bell pepper. Cook for three to four minutes until everything starts to soften.
  10. Add chicken stock, light and dark soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, Szechuan peppercorns, and cashews. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer, and cook for 25 to 30 minutes.
  11. Make a slurry with cornstarch and water. Add the slurry to the liquid, stirring, until thickened.
  12. Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Season the pork with salt and white pepper and dredge in flour.
  13. Heat remaining vegetable oil in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Dust the excess flour from the pork and sear all sides evenly, until nicely browned. Drain any excess oil, then pour the stock-vegetable mixture over top.
  14. Cover and braise in oven for two hours.
  15. Remove from oven, uncover and let rest for 10 minutes. Remove pork onto a small tray.
  16. Strain the solids from the braising liquid, keeping both. Divide braising liquid in two.
  17. In a high speed blender, process half the liquid and all of the solids until smooth. Add cold cubes of butter, one at a time, while processing.
  18. Season with salt and rest at room temperature. Reserve puree for plating.
  19. Remove bones from osso bucco, and separate meat into large muscles. Discard large pieces of fat and cartilage.
  20. Heat vegetable oil in small non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Sear the pieces of pork until browned, then add the remaining braising and bring to a boil.
  21. Reduce, basting constantly, until the sauce is very thick and has coated the pork completely.
  22. For the butter and lime edamame, heat butter in a small pan over medium heat until melted. Add edamame beans and toss for one to two minutes, or until beans are crisp, tender and cooked through.
  23. Season with salt and add lime juice. Toss and cook for 30 seconds.
  24. To serve, form a perfect circle of Kung Pao puree on a large round white plate using a 2-inch (5-cm) pastry brush. (Optional: use a cake spinner and apply puree while plate is spinning.)
  25. On the side of the round, add a 1/3 cup (80 ml) of the black rice risotto.
  26. Top with two teaspoons (10 ml) of edamame beans.
  27. Garnish pork with toasted white sesame seeds in the pan, then place one large muscle of glazed and sesame-garnished osso bucco beside the risotto.

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