Red Wine-Braised Pork Congee 6.000
Immigrant's Table Nov 30, 2011

Congee can be a simple, creamy dish in which the flavor of the rice stands proudly. It also can be a blank canvas for adding all sorts of color and flavor. Here, the satisfying, wintry flavors of red-wine-braised meat -– pork in this case, because it’s such a prominent protein in Chinese cooking –- are combined with the warm comforts of porridge.

Make Ahead: The congee can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat it in a pot over medium-low heat, adding just enough water to return it to the proper consistency.

Servings: 6 - 8

Yield: Makes 8 to 9 cups

  • For the pork
  • 2 cups red wine, preferably Burgundy or pinot noir
  • 1 cup homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 6 large carrots, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 large cloves garlic, cut into thin slices
  • 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons flour (optional)
  • For the congee
  • 9 cups water
  • 1 cup (unrinsed) long-grain white rice
  • 1 cup homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth
  • 1-inch piece peeled ginger root, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch wide strips
  • 1/4 head green cabbage, cored and cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 scallions, white and light-green parts, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces (scant 1/2 cup), for garnish


For the pork: Combine the red wine, broth, onion, carrots, garlic, pork, salt, pepper and five-spice powder in a medium Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Stir to blend in the spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low; cover and cook for 90 minutes, stirring or basting occasionally, until the pork is tender. Transfer the solids to a bowl and cover to keep warm. Strain and reserve the cooking liquid; there should be about 1 cup.

For the congee: Combine 8 cups of the water and the rice in a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and reduce the heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally to make sure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Once the mixture starts to thicken and the water appears cloudy, stir in the broth and the ginger. Cover and cook, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. During this time, add some or all of the remaining cup of water if the mixture becomes too thick but the grains have not yet broken down. The congee should be thick, more like a porridge than individual grains of rice.

Once the congee has reached the desired consistency, stir in the cabbage; it will wilt but retain some texture. Taste, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.

Divide among individual bowls. Spoon equal portions of the braised pork and carrots into the center of each serving. If desired, heat the reserved, strained braising liquid in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the butter and flour and cook to form a thickened gravy. (Softened butter and flour also can be whisked together before adding to the liquid.) Drizzle this over the top of each serving.

Garnish with the scallions. Serve warm.

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Recipe Source

From staff writer Tim Carman.

Tested by Tim Carman.

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