SARSAPARILLA PORK KABOBS

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• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 medium onion, finely minced
• 1 teaspoon cumin seed
• 1-2 hot chiles of your choice
• 1 12-ounce bottle Simpson Spring Sarsparilla
• 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
• 1 tablespoon Vietnamese fish sauce
• kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
• 1 pound boneless country style pork ribs
• lime
• a few basil sprigs

Heat the olive oil and butter in a wide frying pan over mediumhigh heat and saute the onion in it until soft and golden. Add the cumin seeds and chiles and cook a few minutes. Turn up the heat full blast and add the sarsaparilla. Boil hard until reduced and a bit syrupy. Remove from the heat and stir in the garlic and fish sauce, and grind in plenty of black pepper. Let cool. Cut the pork into even-sized pieces, less than an inch across. Place in a lidded container, work in the cooled sarsaparilla stuff, and chill for 30 minutes to overnight. Thread the meat on skewers, and grill over medium-hot coals until crispy on the outside, and cooked on the inside. Squeeze over the lime and tear over the basil before serving.

Serves 3 or 4, with some rice, greens, and maybe a flatbread on the side.

-Paula Marcoux recipe developed exclusively for eSS&SC.

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