From the archives — Home Style Sweet and Sour Pork

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Home Style Sweet & Sour Pork
Homemade Sweet and Sour Pork

Craving sweet and sour pork and not wanting a trip to your favorite Chinese restaurant?  Not hard to make at home and a bonus is leaving the bright red food coloring in the bottle for dying Easter eggs instead of coloring your main dish.

This has brightened our family table on a regular basis since the 19 … cough… 70’s, and I have modified it in varying ways over the years. The result makes a reasonable restaurant inspired dish at home.  But the basis, from back then is one of ratios that come in handy in your cooking tool kit. Using pineapple juice, vinegar and sugar and a dash of soy sauce — that is nearly all you need. You can use this sauce for pork, chicken, fish and prawns would be equally delightful. An added bonus, this is a very wallet friendly meal, sirloin pork was on sale for 2.99 a pound!

The cookbook the original version came from is now completely disassembled, front and back covers no long part of the three rings and the tape that once held it together has crumbled completely off.  I’ve had it so long, I can’t remember where it actually came from to start with. Seems it has just always been there.  Do you have one of those old favorites in your cookbook library? You know the ones, slightly or completely worn, smudges on the pages, maybe some notes in the margins. Somehow like the Velveteen Rabbit, you know, so loved to pieces.

This one is for my sons who asked me to share the recipe.  Let’s get started!

Prep your meat and vegetables, assemble ingredients. I like it colorful!
Brown pork and add onions, fresh ingredients
Pour in fresh ginger infused chicken stock. Cook covered for 30 minutes.
Add sweet and sour sauce mixture, stir as it thickens.


Home Style Sweet and Sour Pork
Modified from the Complete Family Cookbook, Curtain Press, 1969, New York, New York, USA
Serves 4-6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Serve over prepared cooked rice.
Ingredients
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
¾ – 1 lb lean sirloin pork meat, cut in approx. ½” chunks
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sake
1 ½ cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 ¼ cup pineapple chunks, packed in juice, drained, w/juice reserved
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced on the diagonal
½ red or orange bell pepper, cut in ½” x 1” pieces
½ green bell pepper, cut in ½” x 1” pieces
3 medium ripe tomatoes, cut in half, then sliced
2 tablespoons hot peppadew peppers sliced (optional)
¾ cup pineapple juice (reserved from canned pineapple chunks)
⅜ cup white vinegar
3 teaspoons soy sauce
⅜ cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
Prep
In a medium bowl, combine pineapple juice, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and corn starch. Whisk to blend and dissolve cornstarch thoroughly.
Cut up onions and vegetables and set aside.
Grate ginger and put into chicken stock to infuse the liquid while you are cutting up your meat chunks.

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in 12” fry pan over high heat. Season pork with salt and pepper.  
  2. Brown pork on all sides, lower heat to medium, sprinkle meat with Sake to deglaze pan.
  3. Add in onions, cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add pineapple chunks, celery and carrot slices, continue cooking covered for another  5 minutes.
  5. Add chicken stock. Cover, turn heat down to low, cook for at least 30 minutes, liquid should be at a slow, gentle bubble. This will tenderize the meat and infuse the stock with the rich flavors.
  6. Add the bell peppers in at about 15 minutes/half way, this will help them retain their crunch and color.
  7. Uncover and pour in the sauce preparation, stir continually to blend with existing liquid.Cook for about 5 minutes more until sauce is thickened and coats back of spoon.
  8. Add in sliced tomatoes and peppadew peppers. Gently heat through for 1 minute. Removed from heat and serve over hot rice or noodles.

Cook’s Tips
About Peppadew Peppers can be found in gourmet shops or ordered online. A great sweet/hot flavor addition to this sauce, but also sliced in sandwiches, or added to your favorite relish tray.

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2 Responses to From the archives — Home Style Sweet and Sour Pork

  1. I’m here gazing happily at the beautifully styled image at the beginning of this post–I love every element of it!

  2. Robin says:

    Hey there Jenn! Welcome back! Such a sweet and lovely comment, aww, thank you.

    I am really fond on the cut glass soy sauce server. We found it years and years ago at a close out sale of a local home, kitchen accent store called Farmer’s Exchange. My daughter is still looking for some similar to call her own. I guess I just need to make sure it doesn’t break so she can claim it someday.

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