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Red-Cooked Pork


From Good Housekeeping

This Chinese method of slow cooking turns a rich piece of meat into flavorful morsels that simply fall off the bone. "Red-cooked" refers to the dark, burnished color of the meat after it's braised in the aromatic cooking broth. Don't forget to reserve 3 cups shredded pork and 1/2 cup cooking broth for our Mu Shu Pork recipe.

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  • 1 (7-pound) whole bone-in pork shoulder roast, trimmed of skin and excess fat
  • 1 piece(s) (2-inch-long) fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 clove(s) garlic, crushed with flat side of chef's knife
  • 2 strip(s) (3-inch by 1-inch each) fresh orange peel
  • 1 stick(s) (3-inch) cinnamon
  • 1 whole(s) star anise
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup(s) (plus one tablespoon, per recipe) packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup(s) dry sherry or water
  • 1/3 cup(s) soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup(s) seasoned rice vinegar
  • Cornstarch


Servings 10
Cooking time 2mins
Adapted from


Step 1

1.Heat 8-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot. Add pork and cook until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer pork to plate.
2.Reduce heat to medium. Add ginger slices, garlic, orange peel, cinnamon stick, star anise, and crushed red pepper, and cook 5 minutes, stirring. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar and cook 10 minutes longer, stirring frequently. Add sherry or water, stirring to loosen brown bits; cook 2 minutes.
3.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Stir soy sauce, rice vinegar, and 4 1/2 cups water into mixture in Dutch oven. Add pork and heat to boiling over high heat. Cover Dutch oven; place in preheated oven and bake 2 hours 30 minutes, turning meat over once during cooking, until meat is fork-tender.
4.Remove Dutch oven from oven. Transfer meat to platter; cover and keep warm.
5.Meanwhile, skim fat from cooking broth. Strain broth through fine mesh sieve into large glass measuring cup to measure yield of broth. Pour broth back into Dutch oven.
6.In cup, with small wire whisk or fork, mix cornstarch (use 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch for each 1 cup cooking broth) with 1/2 cup cold water until blended. Slowly whisk cornstarch mixture into broth in Dutch oven. Heat broth over medium high heat until mixture boils and thickens slightly, stirring occasionally. Boil 1 minute.
7.Ladle 1 cup broth into 1-quart saucepan; stir in remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat; boil 15 minutes or until broth is thick and syrupy. With pastry brush, brush syrup over pork.
8.To serve, pour broth into gravy boat. Slice pork or, with 2 forks, shred pork coarsely.

Nutritional Information
(per serving)

Calories 400
Total Fat 16g
Saturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 103mg
Sodium 790mg
Total Carbohydrate 18g
Dietary Fiber 0
Sugars --
Protein 43g


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