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Thanks to the trotters, which are cooked together with the pork shoulder, the gravy turns thick and gelatinous when cold. This meat jelly goes well with boiled potatoes, bread or white rice.

Braised Pork «Beijing»

Cold braised pork shoulder

Thanks to the leisurely cooking time and slow cooling process, the meat is tender: firm and juicy at the same time. Furthermore, the aroma seeps deep into its fray. The roast has a wonderful, spicy and somewhat dark flavour – and is best served with a salad and also, for instance, with cold noodles. The jelly is best served separately. Those who wish to give the dark timbre of the meat a lighter contrast can combine the roast with the recommended sauce – which also provides the meat with additional moisture. This cold pork roast is a typical recipe from northern China. This dish is a favourite summertime dish and is, naturally, also fit for a picnic or a midnight snack, as secret agent Hektor Maille relished that memorable eveneing in Beijing.

To give the meat sufficient time to cool down slowly, the roast is best prepared one day before it is served.

Ingredients (for 4 persons)

800 g pork shoulder in one piece (or a piece of the neck)

3 to 4 slices (about 2 cm thick) pork trotters (or veal feet)

8 dl chicken stock

1 big piece ginger (about 80 g), cleaned and chopped in fine slices (about 4 tablespoons)

1 big onion, finely chopped

5 pieces star anise

1 teaspoon Five-Spice-Powder

1 tablespoon sugar (15 g)

1.5 dl Shào Xīng rice wine

1 dl light soy sauce


Additional sauce:

4 tablespoons light soy sauce

2 tablespoons light rice vinegar (if possible a milder one)

2 tablespoons Chingkiang rice vinegar

1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped

3 pods garlic, grated or pressed

1 teaspoon sugar

3 tablespoons spring onions, if possible only the green parts, chopped into bigger pieces

Some drops sesame oil

Preparation on the day before

  1. Bring about 1.5 litres of water to boil. Add shoulder of pork and trotters and simmer for 4 minutes. Remove meat from the water, and keep aside.
  2. Put all ingredients for the braising liquid into a big clean pot (chicken stock, ginger, onion, star anise, five-spice-powder, sugar, rice wine and soy sauce). Stir well. Add pork shoulder and trotters. The meat should be completely covered by the liquid – if necessary, add some water. Bring to boil and reduce heat to a minimum. When the liquid stops bubbling, place a lid on the pot and simmer the meat for two hours – turning it from time to time.
  3. Remove pork shoulder (but not the bones) from the pot and put into a separate dish.
  4. Increase heat and reduce the liquid to about half its volume. About 3 dl gravy should remain and it should be quite thick and shiny.
  5. Strain sauce and drizzle over meat. Squeeze the bones a bit and than discard.Allow the meat to cool and put refrigerate for at least ten hours.

Last minute preparations

  1. Just before serving remove meat from fridge. The sauce should by now be gelatinous. Remove the thick brownish layer containing fat from the surface of the jelly.
  2. Carefully separate jelly and meat. Cut the roast into fine slices. Cut the gelatine into cubes and put both on a plate.
  3. Mix all the ingredients for the additional sauce together, stir well and serve separately.

Judith Albert serving Braised Pork «Beijing» in her datscha in the East of Zurich (HOIO's menu-test for Episode 4 of «Mission Kaki», June 18, 2009).

More about the travel adventure of Secret Agent Hektor Maille:

While eating the items of this menu on a hot evening in the restaurant of Ren Zilin in central Beijing, Hektor Maille finds out why the dragon trail had failed to yield any results earlier:

First Publication: 6-10-2009

Modifications: 23-1-2011, 18-6-2011, 13-11-2011, 12-12-2011