THE ABUNDANT FAT AND JUICES FROM THE SAUSAGE WILL DESCEND GODLY AND SEEP DOWN THROUGH THE RICE BELOW, FLAVORING AND AIDING THE FORMATION OF THE HEAVENLY BOTTOM CRUST
If you follow my Instagram, then you’d know that I’m head-deep in rushing towards the finishing line on my cookbook. Yeah, I’m writing one, and this is probably the first time that I’m mentioning it on the blog, all very anti-dramatic and all. But I promise to talk more about it when the time comes.
For now, let me quickly leave you with a recipe, well more like a technique almost, that I think everyone who struggles with weeknight meals (or writing a book no less) should have in their repertoire. Inspired by claypot rice, here’s how to turn any type of fresh sausages and a few cups of rice into a one-pot, steaming, savory, fluffy and crispy wonder. If you have a few minutes to spare, you can prepare this sichuan-inspired sausage thoroughly studded with fatty guanciale bits (Italian cured pork jowl), burning with toasted chili flakes and tingling wtih sichuan pepercorns. Or, you can use any other types of your favorite, fresh sausages like sweet Italian, spicy Italian, or fresh Mexican chorizo and etc. Either way, the abundant fat and juices from the sausage will descend godly and seep down through the rice below, flavoring and aiding the formation of the caramelized, heavenly bottom crust. Then this steaming and comforting one-pot wonder is complimented by a scallion and tarragon salad cooled by a touch of Greek yogurt. If you’re anything like me, you don’t even need bowls.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 1/2 tbsp sichuan chili flakes, or 3 1/2 tbsp Korean chili flakes
- 2 tsp ground sichuan peppercorns
- 2 tsp ground paprika
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/8 tsp ground cumin
- 21 oz (600 grams) ground pork, cold
- 2.5 oz (90 grams) fatty guanciale or pancetta, cut into tiny dices
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated
- 1 1/2 tsp grated ginger
- 1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice wine
- 1 tbsp apricot jam
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1/3 cup iced water
- 3 cups sushi rice or jasmine rice
- 3 cups beef stock or chicken stock
- 1 large handful of thinly sliced scallions
- 1 small handful of fresh tarragon leaves
- 2 tsp Greek yogurt
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- small pinch of salt and freshly grated black pepper to taste
- MAKE SAUSAGE: (You can this with any types of your preferred sausages such as spicy Italian and etc). In a small pot, mix together olive oil, chili flakes, ground sichuan peppercorns, paprika, white pepper, ground coriander and ground cumin. Toast over medium heat until the chili flakes are turning dark in color and smells fragrant. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Then transfer the spice-mixture into a food-processor along with ground pork (chill it in the freezer for 30 min before use), finely diced guanciale (or pancetta), grated garlic, grated ginger, fish sauce, soy sauce, rice wine, apricot jam and cornstarch. Start pulsing the mixture until evenly mixed, then add the iced water one tbsp at a time while pulsing continuously. Once all the iced water is added, the mixture should feel slightly springy. Set aside.
- TO COOK THE RICE: Rinse the rice inside a large sieve until the water runs clear. In a large cast-iron skillet, combine the rice and beef stock (or chicken stock) and set over medium-high heat. Put the lid on to speed up the cooking process, but come back to check on it every 5 minutes or so. Once you see that the liquid has been absorbed by the rice to a point that it has receded BELOW the rice (meaning the rice is no longer submerged in liquid), turn the heat down to low.
- Now add the prepared sausage on top of the rice in large dollops without disturbing the rice, then use a spatula to smooth the top so that it seals the rice. Put the the lid back on and maintain the heat on medium-low, and cook for another 15 minutes.
- Now remove the lid, and you'll see that the sausage "cap" has shrunken slightly, and there may be juices that are collected in puddles. Tilt the pot so the juices can escape to the bottom, and continue to cook without lid for 5~6 minutes until the sides and bottom of the rice is crisped up.
- If you have a blow-torch (and you should), I like to torch the top surface of the sausage cap until caramelized and slightly charred, for another layer of texture and flavor.
- Before serving, toss together thinly sliced scallions, tarragon leaves, Greek yogurt, toasted sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, salt and black pepper. Pile the herb salad on top of the sausage cap, and serve immediately.