This is a recipe that starts off using the drop-lid technique to hold the texture and flavor of the sweet potatoes but juxtaposes those clean flavors in1 a very rich double-cooked pork broth that is perfect to fend off the raking winds that come just before spring. —Eron Rauch
Pre-Cooking The Pork Belly
Pork Belly, skin removed and cut in to 1" chunks
Filtered Water, to cover
Making The Stew
Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut in to 1" chunks
Small White Onion, peeled and thinly sliced
Ginger, peeled and minced
Tofu, cut in to 1" cubes
Miso Paste (adjust to taste) disolved in 1/2 c. filtered water
Sea Salt, to taste
Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
Filtered Water, as needed
Hard Boiled Eggs, cut in half (for garnish)
Green Onions, trimmed and thinly sliced (for garnish)
Saute pork belly for 3-4 minutes in a medium skillet over medium heat until lightly browned.
Add 1 tbs soy and 1 tsp mirin and cook for 1 minute.
Cover the pan and simmer very very gently over low heat for 30 minutes.
When done, strain the broth into a bowl through a fine sieve and retain the broth for use later in the recipe.
Heat another small pan. Lightly crisp the outer shell of the pork belly over medium high heat. 4-5 minutes.
Set pork and broth aside.
Making The Stew
In a large sauce pan or small dutch oven, heat the canola oil over medium heat and add the onions with a pinch of salt. Cook 4-5 minutes until they just start to soften, but aren't browning.
Add ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add the reserved pork belly broth and enough additional water to comfortably house all of the bits of the stew.
Put a tinfoil drop-lid (a circle of foil that is shaped in a circle just to fit in the pan) on the liquid and turn the heat down to medium low, simmering for 5-6 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes aren't quite done.
Add the tofu, mirin, salt and pepper to taste and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Add the reserved crisp pork belly and simmer gently for 2-3 minutes until the pork is re-heated through.
Serve in bowls with the garnishes divided up between the portions.