To be honest, it is so hard to come up with a proper English recipe name for this traditional Chinese dish.
Pork hock is one of my favorite meats to cook with. They contain a lot of gelatin which is claimed to be good for the skin. After cooked for a couple hours, they become tender and very flavorful. But they are not always available in my local grocery store. Whenever they show on the shelves, I have to get to them before other Asian people do.
I was lucky enough to score two packages of pork hocks during my last grocery trip. Each hock weighs about one pound, the perfect size. When the pork hocks are cooking on the stove, I use bread machine to make bread dough, and then use an electric grill to make some Asian style pan bread.
Red braised pork hock ingredients:
2 pork hocks (about one pound each)
2 to 3 tablespoon rock sugar (or regular granulated sugar)
1/4 to 1/3cup soy sauce
1large piece of ginger
1tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
2 to 3 star anises
5 to 6 clovers
1 to 2 pieces of dried rhizoma
3 to 4 bay leaves
2 green onions
1/2 cup rice cooking wine
salt to taste
Wrap the star anises, Sichuan peppercorns, cardamoms，clovers，dried rhizoma and bay leaves with a coffee filter paper（cheese cloth works well too）。
Tie it up.
Bring a large pot of water to boil with pork hocks in the water together. Cook the hocks for 10 minutes after boil, and then fish them out with a thong.
Put the pork hocks, along with spicy bag, rock sugar, rice cooking wine, soy sauce, green onions and ginger into a cast iron pot. I use a 4 and1/4 quart Le Creuset. Fill the pot with fresh boiling water. The water should cover the pork hocks or a little bit above them.
Cook on medium high heat until it boils again, cover the pot and reduce the heat to simmer for about 90 minutes or until a fork or chopstick can easily pierce the meat.
Discard the green onion. Cook on medium high heat again. Cook until the sauce thickens up. Stir gently to prevent meat getting burnt.
When the sauce thickens up enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove from heat and serve immediately.
The remaining sauce should have consistency of dark thick syrup.
Prepare Asian style pan bread while the pork hocks are being braised.
2 cup bread flour
3/4 cup lukewarm milk
1 teaspoon yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dissolve the yeast with lukewarm milk. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Transfer the milk into bread machine container, add bread flour, sugar, oil and salt, and start Dough cycle.
The bread machine will automatically work all ingredients into a smooth dough ball and proof it.
When the Dough cycle is done, the dough should be double in size. Sometimes, the dough may double in size before designated time. In that case, remove the dough earlier.
Punch down the dough, fold it gently into a ball, cover and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
Evenly divide the dough into 16 pieces.
Using a rolling pin, flatten each dough piece out into a thin flap, roll it up from one end like a jelly roll, and then roll them up again like a dough lollipop as shown in the picture.
Roll out all the dough pieces to desired thickness, about a quarter inch thick again, cover and let them rest another 10 minutes.
Preheat the electric grill.
Place the bread dough on grill surface, one inch apart from each other, cover, and grill 3 to 4 minutes.
Grill 6 to 7 pieces at a time, very efficiently.
Pull the meat from pork hocks, tear or cut into small pieces.
Mix well with the thick sauce.
Slice the bread in half and stuff it with pulled pork.
Time to enjoy！