Macau’s Savory Meat-potato Hash Feels Foreign and Familiar

Christopher Kimball wrote . . . . . . . . .

As the first European gateway to China, Macau became the center of Portugal’s massive maritime empire in the East. You can still taste the resulting mix of flavors.

Egg-custard tarts, salt cod with garlic, and baked duck rice often are on the menu, though so are galinha à Africana (African chicken), Chinese steamed pork buns and Indian coconut curry.

Now imagine that kind of cultural convergence all in one dish — minchi, a minced-meat hash for which every family has its own throw-it-together recipe. It usually includes potatoes and tomato paste brought by the Portuguese, common Chinese ingredients like rice vinegar and soy sauce, and even Worcestershire sauce from the British, who also used Macau as a base before founding Hong Kong across the Pearl River Estuary in 1841.

Stir-fried together with ground pork and a little brown sugar, the hash tastes savory and slightly sweet, and altogether comforting.

For the weeknight-friendly version in our book “Milk Street Tuesday Nights,” which limits recipes to 45 minutes or less, we shorten the cooking time by jumpstarting cubed potatoes in the microwave. After cooking the pork with most of the seasonings, we remove it from the pan to finish cooking the potatoes until they’re crispy.

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We lighten what could be a heavy dish by adding grated ginger, which isn’t typically involved. Sometimes served with rice, minchi, like any hash, begs to be topped with a fried egg and a squeeze of Sriracha.

Most recipes with potatoes require turning on the oven or long cooking times, but we often jumpstart potatoes in the microwave for weeknight cooking.


Macanese Meat-and-Potato Hash (Minchi)

Start to finish: 35 minutes

Servings: 4

1-3/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
12 ounces ground pork
3 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts reserved separately
3 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the potatoes, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high until almost tender, about 5 minutes, stirring halfway through. Drain the potatoes.

In a medium bowl, stir together the pork, ginger, sugar, tomato paste, scallion whites and ¾ teaspoon pepper. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium, heat 1 tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add the pork mixture and, using a wooden spoon, break into small pieces. Cook, stirring once or twice, until lightly browned, 5 minutes. Transfer to a clean bowl and wipe out skillet.

Set the skillet over medium-high, add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and heat until shimmering. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring and adjusting heat as needed, until browned and crisped, about 15 minutes. Return the pork to the skillet and add the soy and Worcestershire sauces and vinegar. Toss, then stir in half each of the scallion greens and cilantro. Taste, season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining scallions and cilantro.

Source: AP

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Bagel Breakfast Sandwiches

Ingredients
2 eggs, fried or poached
2 bagels of your choice, toasted: sesame, everything, poppy seed, etc
4 slices bacon, crisp; OR 2 slices ham
4 slices tomato
2 lettuce leaves
6 slices cheese: Monterey jack, Cheddar, Swiss etc.
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp butter, softened to spread

Method

  1. Assemble as desired.

Makes 2 servings.

Source: Manitoba Egg Farmers


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Butter-Basted Pork Chops

Ingredients

Two 340-g (12-oz) centre-cut, bone-in pork chops, about 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) garlic powder
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) freshly ground black pepper
1 ml (1/4 tsp) fine salt
15 ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil or another neutral oil
30 ml (2 tbsp) unsalted butter
crushed garlic cloves, fresh thyme sprigs, fresh rosemary sprigs and/or fresh sage sprigs

Method

  1. Remove the pork chops from the refrigerator and transfer to the counter for 30 minutes. Pat the meat dry with a clean dish towel or paper towel, and sprinkle all over with the garlic powder, pepper and salt.
  2. In a 10- or 12-inch stainless steel or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. And the pork chops and cook, pressing with tongs occasionally to ensure they have good contact with the skillet, until nicely browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and, using tongs, stand the chops on their side in the pan, fat side down, to render some of the fat, about 1 minute.
  4. Lay the chops down on the uncooked side; add the butter, crushed garlic cloves, fresh thyme sprigs, fresh rosemary sprigs and/or fresh sage sprigs; and cook, regularly tilting the skillet and using a large spoon to baste the chops with the butter, until the meat has an internal temperature of about 57°C (135°F), 4 to 8 minutes.
  5. Transfer the pork chops to a cutting board, serving platter or individual plates, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. (During this time, the internal temperature of the meat should rise to medium-rare.)
  6. Serve hot with the butter and the aromatics from the skillet poured over the top, if desired.

Makes 2 to 4 servings.

Source: Winnipeg Free Press


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Pheasant Stuffed with Truffle and Foie Gras

Ingredients

1-1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 onion, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup long-grain rice
1/3 cup chicken stock
4 oz cooked foie gras, diced (optional)
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
6 tbsp cooked truffles, diced
1 hen pheasant
thin slices of pork back fat
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 tbsp Malmsey Madeira wine
3/4 cup heavy cream
salt
black pepper

Method

  1. First prepare a rice pilaf for the stuffing.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  3. Place an ovenproof pan on the stove top, melt 1/2 tablespoon of the butter over low heat, and sweat the onion until softened. Add the rice and stir to coat all the grains in butter, then pour in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and set aside for 20 minutes.
  4. When the rice is cool, gently mix in the foie gras, then add the pistachios, and diced truffles. Season well.
  5. Remove the wishbone from the pheasant and stuff the bird with the rice mixture, which should fill the cavity.
  6. Truss the bird to seal the neck and rear openings. Cover the bird with the slices of back fat and tie them securely in place.
  7. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  8. Heat the oil and remaining butter in a casserole dish and, when hot and foaming, add the bird and brown it on all sides. Place the dish in the oven with the bird breast-side up. After 10 minutes, add a spoonful of Madeira and put the lid on the casserole. Repeat this until the bird has been cooking for 40 minutes, then take the dish out of the oven, remove the fat, and set the bird aside to rest.
  9. Add the cream to the casserole dish and any juices that have run from the bird, then season. Put the dish on the stove top, bring the liquid to a boil, and reduce to a sauce consistency, then pass through a fine sieve. Spoon out the stuffing and carve the bird. Serve with the sauce and stuffing.

Makes 2 servings.

Source: The French Kitchen


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Ramen Noodle Soup with Barbecued Pork and Greens

Ingredients

15 g dried shiitake mushrooms
350 g Chinese broccoli, trimmed and cut into 4 cm lengths
375 g fresh ramen noodles
6 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
200 g Chinese barbecued pork, thinly sliced
chili flakes (optional)

Method

  1. Soak the mushrooms in 1/2 cup boiling water for 20 minutes. Squeeze the mushrooms dry, reserving the liquid. Discard the stalks, then thinly slice the caps.
  2. Blanch the Chinese broccoli in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 3 minutes, or until tender but firm to the bite. Drain, then refresh in cold water.
  3. Cook the noodles in a large saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes, or until just tender. Drain, rinse under cold water, then drain again.
  4. Pour the stock and 2 cups water into a non-stick wok and bring to the boil. Add the sliced mushrooms and reserved mushroom liquid, soy sauce and sugar. Simmer for 2 minutes, then add the broccoli.
  5. Divide the noodles among bowls. Ladle on the hot stock and vegetables. Top with the pork and chili flakes, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Essential Wok Cookbook


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