Fragrant anise adds a subtle sweetness to this warming stew. Pair with California Zinfandel or Pinot Gris.
1 tablespoon (15ml) vegetable oil
2 pounds (900g) boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch (2.5cm) cubes
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into 4 wedges
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons (20g) minced fresh ginger
3½ cups (830ml) chicken stock
1 whole star anise pod
1 large sweet potato (about 1½ pounds/675g), peeled, cut into 1-inch-thick (2.5cm) rounds, each cut into 4 wedges
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch-thick (.5cm) rounds
3 tablespoons (45ml) flour, mixed with 3 tablespoons (45ml) cold water
Serves 4 to 6
Heat the vegetable oil in a wide 5- to 6-quart (5 to 6L) pot over medium heat until hot but not smoking.
Add the pork and brown for 3 minutes on each side.
Add the onion, garlic, and ginger; cook and stir for 3 minutes.
Add the chicken stock and anise. Turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2 hours.
Add the potatoes and carrots. Uncover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in the flour-and-water mixture and simmer for 10 minutes.
To serve, divide the stew among 4 to 6 bowls. Pass soy sauce at the table.