This is something I made without any particular recipe one weekday evening. The weekend before, I got pork spareribs, not because we had something in mind to make but because I could not resist the good amount of front portion, i.e. pork belly or “sanmai niki” 三枚肉 in the package. Unfortunately we did not have enough time to make any particualr dish such as “Kakuni” or Pork baked in barbecue sauce. So, my wife decided to cook it like she did for making scrapple. Quoting from the scapple post; “Parboil for about 5 minutes. Put into a Pyrex baking dish with some onions and carrots, a bay leaf and several pepper corns. Cover the ribs half way with boiling chicken stock. Cover and place into a 350 degree oven and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (until the meat is tender and falls off the bone).” We figured that once it is cooked this way, we may be able to use it more easily in some dish during the week and, at worst (a figure of speech, not really worst, actually it will be “best”) case scenario, my wife can make it to scrapple next weekend.
I think I was loosely basing this dish on “simmered daikon and pork” or 大根と豚肉の煮物. The way the pork was cooked to this point is not much different from the first portion of the preparation (traditional recipe) for “Buta no kakuni” 豚の角煮. I just took out one rib (removing any congealed fat) and cut the meat into 1 inch cubes. Meanwhile, I peeled and cut daikon (about 3 x 2 inches) into 8 pieces. I sauted the daikon with a small amount of peanut oild and a dash of dark sesame oil for 1-2 minutes in a small deep pot on a medium flame. I added the pork cubes (also some of the pork aspic that accumulated on the bottom of the baking pan for good measure), mirin, soy sauce (3 tbs each) and water to cover (probably about 1 cup). When it came to the boil, I turned it down to simmer and cooked for 30 minutes (We went out to the back deck to enjoy the last of the cherry blossoms with a glass of wine at this point, so it may have cooked longer than 30 minutes). In the last 3 minutes, I added broccoli. This was a surprisingly good dish especially for a weekday evening. The daikon was well cooked, soft, and a good match for the fatty pork. The pork is unctuous and flavorful similar to “Kakuni”.