Pork pairs beautifully with fruit – fresh & dried: Apples, grapes, raisins, apricots, prunes, peaches & today…pears. A few weeks ago I won a lovely box of pears from the terrific people at Northwest US pears. They chose my honey thyme roasted parsnip & pears recipe as a winner in a competition they were having on Instagram. Exciting! Even more exciting…receiving this box of assorted varieties of gorgeous pears grown in the Pacific Northwest. They looked too nice to eat. But hubby & I did eat them & they were delicious, each displaying their own subtle variation in taste & texture.
All these pears inspired me to develop some quick & easy pear recipes. A stir-fry is such a quick, throw-together meal. These country style pork ribs are perfection. And they’re cheap! No bones, really tender, juicy & flavorful. Sorry about the raw meat pic but I’m such a visual being, I think it helps to know what you’re looking for if you’ve not bought them before…so here they are in all their naked glory.
Now to the garlic. If you’ve ever cooked any of my recipes, you’ll notice I like to use lots of garlic. I love it & it’s good for me. The use of a simple garlic crusher makes prepping the garlic easy. After trying several more expensive garlic crushers, I found the cheaper, no-frills kind to be the best. It makes short work of getting the garlic crushed so when you see a recipe calling for “minced” garlic, use a garlic crusher.
I think my mellon balling days are behind me but I still hang onto a mellon baller to take the cores out of pears & apples effortlessly. Dig around in your utensil drawer, you might have one lurking that you can put to good use.
Mum have given me several good pieces of advice over the years. One that was given to her when she was caring for my sick Nanna, was ‘start how you want to finish‘. Mum shared this advice with me & it’s served me well over the years. Well I’ve started the new year busy & busy times call for meals that are nutritious & fast to prepare. Enter sticky pork & pear stir-fry.
This recipe took 20 minutes to prepare & cook. The results were delicious. So delicious in fact that my hubby ate the leftovers cold. I served the stir-fry with tapioca noodles that I bought at the Asian market. They didn’t even need cooking, just a 15 minute bath in very hot water.
Along with garlic, I like to use chilies in many of my recipes. The small red chilies for my Asian-inspired recipes I usually buy from my local Asian grocery store but they come already weighed in a pack & generally I only want three or four of them. I pop them into a re-sealable bag & freeze them. This doesn’t diminish the taste or heat intensity & this way I always have them on hand when I want to spice things up.
I love the start of a new year & all the promise it brings. I’m taking mum’s advice & starting my year how I want to finish it – being busy! Happy New Year to you & yours…make it your best year yet.
- 2 tablespoons sunflower (or canola/veg/peanut) oil
- 1 1/2 lbs (680g) country style pork ribs
- pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tablespoons finely grated ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
- 3 tablespoons dry sherry (or Chinese cooking wine)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce (I use gluten-free)
- 2 ripe pears, peeled, halved, cored and sliced
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
- 4 small red chilies, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- cooked noodles or rice to serve
- Heat oil in a large wok or frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook pork in batches until browned.
- Stir-fry the pork, garlic, ginger & five-spice powder for 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Add sherry. Stir-fry 1 minute until sherry is reduced by half.
- Add honey & soy sauce. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes or until mixture is starting to thicken & coat the pork.
- Add pears. Stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until pears are hot & coated.
- Add half the green onions & chili. Stir-fry until combined.
- Sprinkle with remaining green onions, chilies & sesame seeds. Serve with noodles or rice.