We belong to a local meat CSA. (For KC area peeps, it’s with Parker Farms. LOVE them, love their products, love the way they run their family business, love the way they treat and feed their animals.) We joined back in February, and though we only occasionally get cuts that I’m not so familiar with cooking, one in particular has given me trouble: ground pork. I never really know what to do with it. The pork sausage is great and easy, but the plain old ground pork? Not something I’ve ever cooked with.
I’ve added it to beef in meatballs a couple of times, but besides that, I’ve been at a loss. There was a time when I would have made dumplings, but since going gluten free, I haven’t had dumplings once. A friend of mine recently posted a recipe for gluten free dumplings that looks very promising. I will keep you all posted.
After an internet search, I came across this recipe for Szechuan Green Beans with Ground Pork. I didn’t have any hoisin sauce, so I had to find a homemade recipe. I, of course, tasted as I went, and tweaked it to my liking. I’ll share it just the way I made it. (Btw, I put “Szechuan” in parenthesis, ’cause like most of my ethnic recipes, I’m pretty sure this one isn’t entirely authentic.)
It took me about 20 minutes to fix from start to finish, including the time it took to find all the ingredients, and it was so yummy and so very, deeply, satisfying. The whole family (even my 4 yr old) loved it. This one is definitely going into the regular rotation.
“Szechuan” Green Beans with Ground Pork
makes 4 generous servings–I doubled it so we’d have leftovers, but I’ll share the single recipe
1 lb ground pork
3-4 cups green beans fresh or thawed if frozen (I did 3 big handfuls)
1/4 cup dehydrated onions (or a fresh onion, I like the taste and texture of the dried in this, plus I didn’t want any other chunks of anything besides meat and beans)
2 tsp corn starch
For the sauce:
1/2 cup soy sauce (I used gluten free tamari)
1/4 cup peanut butter (or soy bean paste–the peanut butter was great, and not enough to make the dish taste at all like it’s in there)
1/4 cup honey
1.5 Tb rice vinegar (or rice wine or white wine vinegar)
1.5 Tb sesame oil
.5 tsp garlic powder
1-2 tsp hot sauce, to taste (I used Sriracha)
pepper to taste
1. In a small bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients.
2. In a preheated wok or stir-fry skillet over med-high heat, lightly brown ground pork.
3. Toss in green beans, and cook stirring often until they reach desired doneness.
4. Add the corn starch and dehydrated onions (if using, if you use fresh, they should be cooked along with step one), and toss until the meat mixture is evenly coated. The corn starch will make the sauce stick beautifully to the meat and beans, and adds a nice texture.
5. Pour the sauce over the meat mixture, and cook 1-2 minutes, or until everything is heated all the way through. Remove from heat.
Serve over rice.
It really is that quick and easy to make some delicious, if not entirely authentic “Chinese food” for dinner. Enjoy!