chomiji: Chibi of Muramasa from Samurai Deeper Kyo, holding a steamer full of food, with the caption Let's Eat! (Muramasa-Let's eat!)
[personal profile] chomiji

Over the winter, we got a "lamb share" CSA from one of the vendors (Cabin Creek Heritage Farm) at the Takoma Park Farmers Market. We liked it, but they don't have lamb over the summer. The Mr. is particular about his beef and doesn't want it to have been frozen, so we went for "mini pork share" this time.

For a mini share, a roast is an add-on for which you must pay separately (with the lamb share, we got the option of a roast twice in 4 months, IIRC). Otherwise, every month you pick one selection from each of several categories such as pork chops, bacon or fatback, sausages, and ground pork.

I was unsure of what to do with the ground pork and so by tonight, I had accumulated two unopened packages. But on the 4th of July, my sister and her husband (who came to watch the parade) reminded me of Chinese dishes such as Ma Po Tofu. And on my own I remembered what I have usually heard called "Four Seasons String Beans," although a lot of the recipes online call it Dry-Fried String Beans.

I kludged together two different recipes and it came out pretty well, I have to say. A little too spicy, because I was improvising with the chili component (I used hot chili oil) and I knew I had more meat than the recipe specified.

Basically, you saute your trimmed beans in veg oil (I used peanut) until they start to wrinkle (if yours are of uneven diameters, like mine, the little ones will actually get a little shriveled). It took me approx. 7 minutes to get them to that point. You pull them out, then add a little more oil and stir your aromatics (minced garlic and also chopped mild kimchi with some added capers, a workaround that I found for "Chinese pickled vegetable" - ya cai - which I will have to find some other time ... H-Mart, maybe?) for a minute or less.

Then you add the ground pork, break it up well, and stir it around. When it starts to lighten in color, you add a little rice wine and the chilis (chili oil in my case - I used about a TBSP; 2 tsps would have been enough). Then you're supposed to cook the meat briskly to drive off the moisture and brown it. I got impatient once I was certain the pork was well-cooked and cut to the chase, stirring in 4 chopped scallions and a TBSP of soy sauce. Finally, you stir in the beans and keep stirring and turning them over in the meat for 3 minutes.

The Mr. requested proper browning next time, but he had two servings, so I guess it wasn't bad. :-)

And now I know what to do with ground pork.

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