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Red-Cooked Pork Shoulder and Chestnuts

Scott Phillips

Servings: 6

Red-cooking is a traditional Chinese braising technique, so named because high-quality soy sauce is said to develop a red tint after long-cooking. Here, that technique helps pork shoulder morph into a consummate bowl of comfort food.


  • 1 large or 2 medium leeks, slit lengthwise, rinsed, then thinly sliced crosswise, white and pale-green parts only (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 6 Tbs. Shaoxing or dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup peeled, julienned fresh ginger (cut into 1/8 x 1/8-inch matchsticks; from a 3-inch piece)
  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. slivered garlic (3 medium cloves)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 4 lb. boneless pork shoulder (also called butt), trimmed and cut into 4 large pieces
  • 2 cups jarred roasted peeled chestnuts
  • 2 Tbs. plain rice vinegar, more to taste
  • Cooked medium-grain white rice or udon noodles, for serving
  • Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish


  • Stir the leeks, soy sauce, Shaoxing or sherry, ginger, sugar, garlic, cinnamon sticks, and star anise pod in a 6-quart slow cooker. Nestle the chunks of pork shoulder into the mixture. Sprinkle the chestnuts on top.
  • Cover and cook on low until the pork is fork-tender 5 to 7 hours. Discard the cinnamon sticks and star anise pod and stir in the rice vinegar.
  • Break the pork into smaller chunks and serve on the rice or noodles with the chestnuts, a little of the sauce, and a sprinkle of scallions.


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Reviews (3 reviews)

  • User avater
    joyfulleah | 12/21/2020

    This was yummy! I could only find a bone-in 8lb pork shoulder so we've had molto leftovers :) A little fatty. I wish I had made it and cooled it to drain the fat off before the first serving. It gets better with the fat removed. Also, no red coloring for me? Great over udon noodles, rice. I'm picturing tacos for the remaining amount we have.

  • User avater
    BerrySVickers | 11/21/2018

    So very yummy

  • Virgie | 02/09/2015

    Made this without the chestnuts. It was excellent.

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