Tag Archives: pork

Sweet-and-Sour Pork with Pineapple

This takeout classic has delicious roots in Cantonese cooking. Now, it is tempting to dismiss sweet-and-sour pork as gloppy, Americanized Chinese food. And, let’s face it, it often is. Been there, tasted that.

Looking to harness that enticing sweet-tart profile without the saccharine stickiness, Milk Street was drawn to the dish’s origins. A lighter, earlier variation happens to be preserved in Taiwan, where cooks skip the deep-frying—and the ketchup—to better highlight the other ingredients.

Thinly sliced pork shoulder is marinated in soy sauce, a bit of sugar and cornstarch. The starch creates a protective layer against the high heat of a stir-fry, helping to keep the pork tender by preventing it from overcooking. After briefly stir-frying the meat with ginger, in go red bell pepper, chilies, scallions and pineapple with roughly equal parts rice vinegar, sugar and more soy sauce.

A hefty chunk of ginger is cut into matchsticks for bigger pops of piquant flavor, while thinly sliced serrano chilies add spice to further balance the sweetness. It makes for a savory-sweet dish, a little tart and well-balanced to the last bite. A delicious return to the dish’s roots.

NOTES: Don’t use canned pineapple, as its flavor is dull compared to fresh. But if prepping a whole pineapple is too much work, look for ones sold already cleaned in the produce section of the supermarket. Also, don’t use a conventional (i.e., not nonstick) skillet. Without a nonstick coating, the sugars from the pineapple and sauce are likely to stick to the pan’s surface and scorch.

Sweet-and-Sour Pork with Pineapple

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless pork shoulder, trimmed, cut into 2-inch-wide strips, and thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce, divided, plus more if needed
  • 1/2 tsp. plus 1 Tbsp. white sugar, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3 Tbsp. grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple (½-inch chunks)
  • 2-3 serrano chilies, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks (about 3 Tbsp.)
  • 1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar, plus more if needed
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the pork, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, the ½ teaspoon sugar and the cornstarch; stir until the pork is evenly coated.
  2. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until barely smoking. Add the pork in an even layer and cook, stirring only once or twice, until the pork is lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pepper is lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add the pineapple, chilies and ginger, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the pineapple begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in the vinegar, the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce and the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Cook, stirring often, until the meat and vegetables are lightly coated with the sauce, 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Off heat, taste and season with additional soy sauce and vinegar. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the scallions.


Original recipe by Albert Stumm for Milk Street

Russ’s Braised Pork and Sauerkraut

COVID-19 and its variants are following us into 2022, so invite good luck into your new year. For the Pennsylvania Dutch, that means pork and sauerkraut, which is good luck because pigs root around with their snouts in a forward motion. (You always want to move forward, not backward in life, of course.) Sauerkraut is made with cabbage, which is considered lucky because it’s green just like money.

It is also a household tradition on my husband’s German side of the family to serve pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day. A tradition I couldn’t quite get jiggy with when we first started dating twenty-plus years ago; however, I am now a huge convert. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, right?

This year the plan was to host a small NYD dinner party, thus the large piece of meat. Unfortunately, all of those folks came down with COVID a few days prior and were under quarantine, so it was just the two of us… I guess we didn’t start the good luck process early enough?

One minor switcharoo we made this time was using some hard cider brewed by son Daniel instead of the beer, lending a slight apple taste to the dish. Along with garlicky mashed potatoes, our other side was Whiskey-Glazed Carrots.

The Hubs made sure the COVID crew got part of the good luck meal too. He drove over all of the leftovers the following day. Paying it forward. See, their good luck has already started…

Russ's Braised Pork and Sauerkraut

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, ground finely
  • 1 bone-in or boneless pork shoulder, 5-6 lbs.
  • 3 large onions, peeled and sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 4 lbs. sauerkraut, drained
  • 2 bottles amber beer
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 stalk rosemary
  • 6 stems thyme, tied in a bunch
  • 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 6 juniper berries (optional), lightly crushed
  • Olive oil


  1. At least 8, or preferably 24 hours before cooking the pork, combine the first five ingredients and rub all of over the pork. Wrap the meat tightly in plastic wrap, place on a plate and refrigerate. Remove meat from refrigerator and allow to warm at room temperature about an hour before you plan to cook it.
  2. Make a bouquet garni with the peppercorns and the juniper berries (if using them) and set aside. Be sure to double or triple the cheesecloth.
  3. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. In a large Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over a medium high flame until shimmering. Unwrap the pork shoulder and brown on all sides, about 15-20 minutes. Remove meat from pot and set on plate while you complete the next steps.
  4. Add the sliced onions to the pot and sauté until they be come translucent. Add the chopped garlic and sauté for about one minute. Add the drained sauerkraut, then the 2 bottles of beer. Mix everything together well, making sure to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Add the bay leaves, thyme, sprig of rosemary and the bouquet garni. Mix well again with the sauerkraut and onions.
  5. Return the pork shoulder to the pot, nestling it into the sauerkraut. Place a sheet or parchment or aluminum foil over the pot, then put on the lid, ensuring that it fits tightly. Place the pot in the preheated oven and cook for 2 hours. Turn the roast, then return it to the oven for another 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the meat is very tender and falls apart easily.
  6. To serve, remove the pork shoulder from the pot to a platter to carve. Remove the bay leaves, rosemary sprig, thyme and bouquet garni and discard. Give the sauerkraut mixture a good stir and serve with the pork.