Prime Pairing - Tomato Braised Pork Recipe
Try this favorite Vietnamese rice vermicelli and Tomato Braised Pork recipe at home
Recipe by Will Coonradt
The braised pork can be eaten as soon it comes out of the oven, but I recommend letting it cool in its liquid, overnight if possible, to allow the flavors to meld.
This might seem like an intimidating recipe, but it’s very simple. Remember, ice is cold, water’s wet and butter is slippery. This is a phrase that I use with one of my partners in the kitchen, usually when I’ve done something that is obviously wrong or backwards.
2 lbs pork tenderloin, cut into roughly 4-inch loins
1 tbsp ginger, diced
2 Fresno peppers, sliced into rings
1 red onion, diced
5 vine-ripened tomatoes, quartered
3 big cloves of garlic, smashed and diced
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp honey
½ cup chicken stock
Fresh mung bean sprouts
8.8 oz rice vermicelli
3-6 whole jalapeños (or shishito peppers if you don’t want heat)
Picked cilantro leaves
Green onions, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 limes, juiced
1 tbsp rice vinegar
Preheat a skillet or cast-iron pot to medium-low heat and preheat the oven to 250 degrees. When the pot is warm, add a splash of oil and all the red onions. Allow to sweat, stirring occasionally. When they begin to become transparent, add the garlic, ginger and Fresno Peppers, then stir. When the garlic has bloomed (become fragrant), remove all the aromatics from the pot and save for later. Do not clean the pot.
In the same pot, which is now seasoned, turn the heat up to medium-high. Salt and pepper the pork. Once the pan is hot, splash in a high smoke-point cooking oil and add the tenderloins. (Oils with a high smoke point include peanut, vegetable and safflower, but not olive oil. Olive oil is delicate and not intended to reach high temperatures. As a result, the flavor will turn bitter).
While the meat is cooking, in a separate bowl, combine the honey, sesame oil, and soy sauce, and whisk together with the chicken stock. Allow the pork to cook and caramelize for 5-7 minutes, flip the pieces to their raw side, allow to cook for a few more minutes. When the pork is seared on both sides, deglaze your pan with the rice vinegar, followed by the other liquid ingredients, including lime juice. Then add the tomatoes and the previously cooked mixture. This will add magnificent flavor. Cover it all with a lid and place in the pre-heated oven for 2.5 hours. Braised meats are also best if they are left to cool in their jus. This will ensure the most intense flavors for the dish.
Cook the rice vermicelli in a boiling pot of water for about 4-5 minutes. Then, fire-roast a whole jalapeño. If you don’t have an open flame, cook the jalapeño in a 300-degree oven for 20 minutes, or until charred (if using this method, do it before making the noodles).
Distribute the noodles to your desire: this is your meal, you take the reins on the measurements, cowpoke! Pile the pork, along with the braising liquid, on top of the noodles. Garnish with the jalapeño (if you ain’t too scared!), followed by bean sprouts, green onion finished with the refreshing punch of cilantro.
thu’o’’ng thu’c ba.n bè cu’a tôi (“enjoy, my friends,” in Vietnamese).
The Colterris Malbec is a perfect, fruit-forward wine for this pairing. Deep aromas of raspberry and blueberry are accompanied by a hint of mocha and cinnamon spice. Colterris Winery in Palisade distributes throughtout the state.
Will Coonradt is a sous chef working in Denver.