Traditionally, cooking braised pork leg begins by browning the meat on the stovetop in a wok with smoking hot oil. The pork leg is rolled around to give every inch of the skin a chance to blister beautifully.
I use the oven for convenience. Less mess and less chance of hot oil landing on my skin too.
Very lightly salted bone broth is best for this recipe. That way, most of the saltiness will comes from the soy sauce. If your bone broth has been generally salted, there are two options: Dilute it with water or ditch the bone broth and just use water.
Braised Pork Leg
- Slow Cooker
- 1.5 kilograms pork leg with or without the feet
- ½ head garlic
- 1 two-inch piece ginger
- 2 shallots
- ½ teaspoon peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 star anise
- 3 cups bone broth (see notes after the recipe)
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch or potato or corn starch
- 12 baby corns
- 2 to 4 clusters of bok choy
- Preheat the oven to 475F. If your oven temperature can go higher than that, set it at the highest temperature (see notes after the recipe).
- Rinse the pork leg, wipe dry with a kitchen towel then position on a rack (with a tray underneath to catch drippings) and roast until the skin blisters, around 45 to 55 minutes.
- Transfer the pork leg to the slow cooker.
- Throw in the garlic, ginger, shallots, peppercorns, bay leaves and star anise.
- Pour in the broth.
- Season with soy sauce and sugar (the amount of each depends on how the broth had been seasoned; just find the balance that pleases your taste buds).
- Set the slow cooker to HIGH.
- After an hour, reduce the heat to LOW. Cook the pork hock for another five hours, or a total of six hours in the slow cooker.
- About 30 minutes before the cooking time is up, dissolve the starch in one-fourth cup of water and pour into the slow cooker in a thin stream.
- Cook the baby corn and bok choy in salted water, then drain.
- To serve, scoop out the pork hock and transfer to a serving bowl. Strain the thickened sauce and pour over the meat. Arrange the baby corn and bok choy on the side.
- Serve the Chinese-style braised pork leg with rice or with Chinese buns.