This is such an easy recipe: simply combine all the ingredients in a plastic bag and leave the flavours to develop. It includes one of my favourite flavours, Star Anise, which is an unusually shaped spice with an easily recognisable floral shape. Along with root ginger, it infuses this marinade with the distinctive flavour of Far Eastern food, plus giving off a wonderful aroma when cooking. With a holiday looming I know I will need to call on my repertoire of quick and easy recipes, but it is always a useful quick meal to for a busy day. Bearing this in mind there are ready marinaded portions of this recipe in the freezer, each bagful enough for a meal for my family. All I have to do is remember to get one out of freeze in the morning, add the onion pieces and defrost in the fridge or a cool place during the day. Then in the evening simply tip the contents of the bag into a dish, cover and pop into the oven. Although cooking takes around an hour it gives time to get on with the vegetables and other jobs. Easy-peasy!
The source for this recipe is Finger Lickin’ Ribs from the book Feast: Food that Celebrates Life by Nigella Lawson, but with some slight variations. The title has been tweaked, adding the word aromatic and removing the reference to ribs which I would never use. (We find them a lot of effort for very little reward.) In their place I usually use lean belly pork strips, but sometimes spare rib or loin chops. Chicken could also be substituted and it could even used to marinade a larger piece of meat, which should definitely be left overnight before cooking. We like much more onion too (this can be as much as a small/medium onion per person). The original recipe used molasses but I substituted the much more readily available black treacle. Finally, as an alternative to ring the changes, orange juice could replace pineapple. I found that the dish needed to be covered with foil as it tends to spatter whilst cooking, but this should be removed for the final 10 minutes or so to allow the juices to evaporate and the meat to crisp a little. I’m afraid that this is not the easiest dish to photograph attractively (especially as it was taken on a winter evening under electric strip lighting and looks much more greasy than it really is - I must photograph it again in the summer!). It’s very unflatteringly ’brown’, but delicious nonetheless. Do give it a try. I use other marinade recipes which are equally tasty and links for these will appear further down in due course once I have added the recipes.
Aromatic Finger Lickin’ Pork
4-8 lean belly pork strips (1-2 per person depending on size)
1 spare rib or loin chop per person
4 small/medium onions (less if you prefer)
1 star anise
1 small cinnamon stick broken into pieces
1 small green chilli, with seeds & inner membrane removed
A 1inch/2.5cm piece fresh ginger
Juice & zest of a lime
2tbsp soy sauce
1tbsp sunflower oil
1tbsp black treacle or molasses
50ml pineapple juice (¼ small carton – freeze the remainder in 50ml portions)
1. Line a medium sized bowl with an open plastic bag big enough to hold all the ingredients but leaving enough room to tie together and seal. If you are intending to freeze for a later date then leave out the onion until it is going to be cooked.
2. Into the large plastic bag put the meat, the peeled onions, each cut into about eight segments, the star anise and the crumbled cinnamon stick. Add the chilli, finely chopped (for more heat do not remove the seeds and membrane and the peeled and finely sliced ginger.
2. Zest the lime and squeeze the juice into the bag and add the the soy sauce, oil, treacle and pineapple juice and seal the bag by tying a knot. Carefully squeeze the bag to combine the flavourings with the meat as much as possible. Ideally the bag should be left overnight (or throughout the day) in the fridge, but it needs to marinade for at least two hours.
3. Preheat the oven to 200oC/400oF/Gas 6. Once it has reached room temperature pour the contents of the bag containing the marinaded meat into a roasting tin. Cover with foil and put into the oven for 1 hour, turning the pieces of meat over and removing the cover for the last 10 minutes to allow them to brown and any liquids to reduce.
4. Serve with rice or flatbreads and salad. If using belly strips the pieces can be cut into bit sized pieces and served as part of a hot buffet or on a starter selection plate at a chinese style meal.
More pork marinades – or maybe chicken (perhaps other meats and fish too):
(Please leave comments about the following recipes with the recipe at the link given rather than here – thanks!)
Other marinade recipes I have found, as yet untried (various meats):
Four Pork Barbecue Sauces via The Evening Herault
(Standard Barbecue Sauce, Cha shao – Cantonese BBQ pork, Barbecued Irish pork chops, Jamie Oliver’s best BBQ meat sauce)
Slow Cooker Chinese Ribs via Greedy Rosie
Barbeque Flavoured Pork via Farmersgirl Kitchen
Best Five-Spice Pork Spare Ribs via Best Recipes
French Style Spareribs via Lemons & Anchovies
Char Siu Pork via The Spanish Wok
Red Garlic Chicken via The Complete Cookbook
Spicy & Sticky Orange marinade via Souperior
Marmalade & Wine Chicken Kebabs via The Complete Cookbook
Sticky Chicken Wings via Lavender & Lime
Poricha Kozhi (Fried Spiced Chicken) – Indian Street Food via Rhis Foodie World
Middle Eastern Marinated Chicken via Searching for Spice