Steamed Pork Buns

I hope that you all enjoyed your Easter. Eric and I spent a much needed low key Easter at home, catching up on sleep, relaxing and having a nice dinner with my family on Sunday; it was just what we needed. I didn’t cook much this weekend, which was nice for a change, just a simple breakfast on Sunday and that was it. Eric had been traveling on business for all of last week so it was great to spend some time just the two of us, relaxing.

The recipe I have for you today is one that I made a few weeks back, while Eric was golfing one Sunday afternoon. The recipe is not hard, but it does require a good amount of time because of the fact that it has homemade dough and uses yeast. Anytime you make something with yeast you know it will take a while because the yeast inevitably will need to rise. I made these steamed pork buns in between making a dessert and doing laundry and watching TV, like I said, easy.

If you enjoy the steamed dumplings or pot stickers from an Asian restaurant, then this is a great recipe for you. I personally always order steamed pot stickers, they are so delicious. Give me those and an egg roll and I’m one happy girl. I found this recipe on Pinterest, of course, and adapted it.

Start this recipe by cooking the pork tenderloin which will become the base of the filling in the buns. Coat the pork tenderloin with chinese five spice powder and cook in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes, turning over half way through. Slice crosswise and refrigerate to cool.

While the pork is cooking, start the dough.  Combine the warm water, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and let stand for 5 minutes until it looks foamy. Use the dough hook attachment on your mixer (if you have one) to mix the ingredients for the together. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic.

Place dough into a bowl sprayed with cooking spray, cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit in warm place to rise for 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.

Once the dough is rising and the pork is cut and cooled, shred it with your fingers into a medium size bowl and add the onions and next 7 ingredients to the pork and mix well.

Cover and refrigerate.

One the dough has risen, punch it down with your fist and allow it to sit for another5 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and divide it into 10 equal portions.

Roll those portions into balls.

Use a rolling pin to roll the ball into a 5in circle. Fill the center with about 2 tablespoons of the pork mixture and gently fold all the sides up.

Twist the side together to seal the dumpling. Do this for all 10 dumplings.

To cook, steam the dumplings in a steamer, if using a metal steamer, spray with non-stick spray before putting in the dumplings to prevent sticking.

**Uncooked dumplings can be frozen on a tray individually and then placed into a ziplock bag in the freezer. These will keep for up to 6 months. To cook, simply pull out of freezer and steam for longer than the unfrozen dumplings. I did this with 4 of the dumplings and it was one of the best frozen leftover meals we’ve ever had, plus it was SO easy! **

Steam the dumplings until the puff up, about 15 minutes.

Serve with dumpling dipping sauce.

These dumplings were so good and worth all the work and waiting time. I was so proud of myself for making something that tasted like it came from the local Asian place we get take-out from. Plus, it made 2 dinners and 2 lunches, not to shabby for 1 recipe!

 

Here’s the full recipe adapted from Cooking Light and the dipping sauce is from PF Changs:

Steamed Pork Buns
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Author: Adapted from Cooking Light, Dipping Sauce from PF Changs
Prep time: 3 hours
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 4 hours
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dough:
  • 1 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 14 2/3 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Dipping Sauce:
  • cup water
  • cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, ground
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. To prepare the filling, rub five-spice powder evenly over pork. Cook pork on for 40 minutes, turning half way through. Remove pork from pan, and let stand 15 minutes.
  2. Cut pork crosswise into thin slices; cut slices into thin strips. Place pork in a medium bowl. Add onions and next 7 ingredients (through 1/4 teaspoon salt); stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate.
  3. To prepare dough, combine 1 cup warm water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes.
  4. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add flour, oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to yeast mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.)
  5. Punch dough down; let rest 5 minutes. Turn dough out onto a clean surface; knead in baking powder. Let dough rest 5 minutes.
  6. Divide dough into 10 equal portions, forming each into a ball. Working with one dough ball at a time (cover remaining dough balls to keep from drying), roll ball into a 5-inch circle. Place 1/4 cup filling in center of dough circle. Bring up sides to cover filling and meet on top. Pinch and seal closed with a twist. Repeat procedure with remaining dough balls and filling.
  7. Arrange 5 buns seam side down, 1 inch apart, in each tier of a 2-tiered bamboo steamer. Stack tiers; cover with lid.
  8. Add water to a large skillet to a depth of 1 inch; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Place steamer in pan; steam 15 minutes or until puffed and set. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

 

Sunday Pot Roast

I hate how the weekends fly right by. I always have high hopes for my weekends and somehow house work and obligations always seem to creep in and take over. This makes my Sunday evenings more stressful as I run around trying to get things ready for the week and desperately hope to get 1 hour to myself to catch up on the newspaper or watch one of the 2 shows that I love  on Sunday nights. This weekend was no exception. Last night, I was working on the blog while trying to watch a movie with Eric, a movie that we rented 2 days ago and never found time to watch; a basket of clean laundry was waiting to be folded and I found myself wishing for simpler Sundays.

Sundays is a day that has always had a greater feeling of rest. Sunday afternoon naps are always better than Saturday ones. Movies watched on a Sunday always feel less rushed and Sunday food is always warm, delicious and satisfying.

Last week, I made pot roast for Sunday dinner and it was amazing. It cooked most of the day and filled the house with a wonderful and lingering smell; I could still smell it Monday after coming home from work! I don’t make pot roast often, it’s such a “1950′s American Sunday Dinner” and that’s not usually my style, but there is something to be said for the American nostalgia that comes with making pot roast on a Sunday. It makes me feel like Joan Cleaver (the mom from Leave it to Beaver).

I found a recipe that got rave reviews, by Ina Garten on Foodnetwork.com. Most of Ina’s recipes get rave reviews but this one was out of the park. And after making it, I fully concur.

Start the recipe by prepping all the ingredients. There is a lot of chopping. You should end up with garlic, onions, carrots, celery, leeks and fresh herbs.

 

Prep the meat by allowing it to come to room temperature before you cook it. (This will prevent the meat from being tough or chewy.) Dry the meat with paper towels and then season it on all sides with salt and pepper.

Dredge the entire cut of meat in flour.

Heat oil in the dutch oven over medium heat and brown all sides of the roast, about 4-5 minutes per side.

Remove the roast to a large plate. Add more olive oil to the pot and add in the garlic, onion, carrots, celery, leeks, salt and pepper. Saute for 10-15 minutes until tender but not brown.

Add the rest of the ingredients except for the herb bundle.

Use kitchen twine to tie together the rosemary and thyme and add it to the pot.

Cover the pot and bring it to a boil. Place in a 325 degree oven for 1 hour and then turn the heat down to 250 degrees for another 1.5 hours for a total of 2.5 hours in the oven. The house will smell amazing and it should look like this when you take the lid off (don’t forget pot holders! the whole dutch oven will be extremely hot!).

Remove the roast and cover. At this point, if you only have a blender, blend about half of the cooking juice and stir it back into the pot. I have an immersion blender so I just used that right in the pot itself to blend all over to make the sauce smoother.

While the pot roast was cooking, I also prepared some potatoes in the Irish fashion. Simply boil them for about 20 minutes, drain the water out and put a sheet of crumbled newspaper in the top of the pot with the lid on. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes. The newspaper will suck up the moisture and leave your potatoes light and fluffy! It sounds strange, I know, but it worked so well.

To serve your pot roast, slice it and pour the sauce over it on a large platter.

Serve along side the Irish potatoes.

This was the best pot roast I have ever eaten/made. The sauce was rich and thick and the meat was juicy and tender. The potatoes were fluffy and paired perfectly with the sauce. It was the perfect meal for a Sunday afternoon and a great way to start a new week with a warm, full and happy belly.

Here’s the recipe from Foodnetwork.com:

Company Pot Roast
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Author: Ina Garten
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 3 hours
Total time: 3 hours 20 mins
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 (4 to 5-pound) prime boneless beef chuck roast, tied
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour
  • Good olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 2 cups chopped celery (4 stalks)
  • 2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 to 4 leeks)
  • 5 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 cups good red wine, such as Burgundy
  • 2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes in puree
  • 1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 3 branches fresh thyme
  • 2 branches fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Pat the beef dry with a paper towel. Season the roast all over with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Dredge the whole roast in flour, including the ends. In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the roast and sear for 4 to 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn and sear the other side and then turn and sear the ends. This should take 4 to 5 minutes for each side. Remove the roast to a large plate.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the Dutch oven. Add the carrots, onions, celery, leeks, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned. Add the wine and Cognac and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, bouillon cube, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the thyme and rosemary together with kitchen string and add to the pot. Put the roast back into the pot, bring to a boil, and cover. Place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is fork tender or about 160 degrees F internally. Turn the heat down to 250 degrees F after about an hour to keep the sauce at a simmer.
  4. Remove the roast to a cutting board. Remove the herb bundle and discard. Skim off as much fat as possible from the sauce. Transfer half the sauce and vegetables to a blender or a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree until smooth. Pour the puree back into the pot, place on the stovetop over low heat, and return the sauce to a simmer. Place 2 tablespoons flour and the butter in a small bowl and mash them together with a fork. Stir into the sauce and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring until thickened. Taste for seasonings. Remove the strings from the roast, and slice the meat. Serve warm with the sauce spooned over it.