Dongpo Pork and Lafon Meursault
Dongpo Pork is named after celebrated Song Dynasty poet, Su Shi. The prototype was a dish known as “returned pork” created by Su as he held office in Xuzhou, and people named the dish after the poet posthumously. Su Shi was adept at cooking meat and one can tell his culinary savoir faire from a limerick he wrote: “gentle heat, little fluid, on a delicate fire with hardly any fume; let it cook, no hurry, when the time comes it will be tasty.”
Dongpo Pork is made with premium pork of the Jinhua “two ends black” breed and a clay pot. A bamboo steamer placed at the bottom of the pot is lined with scallion, ginger and garlic, and the seasoned pork is first stewed over low heat, skin side down. When it is almost cooked through, the meat is turned skin side up and then braised until meltingly soft. More sophisticated restaurants would cook the pork in individual portion in tiny Zisha clay pot. Sealed in the pot, each piece is cooked by high heat steam to further cut down the grease and enhance the tenderness of the meat.
Although the dish makes use of a rather fatty cut of pork with skin, it is not at all greasy thanks to the slow cooking process. The skin melts on the palate and the meat is succulent and hearty. This meaty dish is great paired with crisp Burgundy white wine with considerable body. Lafon’s Meursault has a good backbone and a brisk, mineral flavour. It is excellent with Dongpo Pork. Early 2016. Austin Zhang.