½ cup chicken stock or water
½ cup coconut milk
3 tablespoons caster sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 kilogram boneless pork belly, skin off (I used free-farmed)
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 star anise
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2-3 teaspoons cornflour
1 tablespoon water
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
hot cooked rice
steamed broccoli or Asian greens
Caramel: Combine the stock and coconut milk. Put the sugar and water in a small saucepan over a low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat and cook until a deep golden brown. Immediately add the combined liquid (it will bubble up furiously) and stir to dissolve any lumps of caramel.
Pork: Trim the pork of excess fat and cut into 3 cm thick slices.
Tip the caramel into a large clay pot or sauté pan with a lid, add all the remaining ingredients, except the pork, and bring to the boil. Add the pork and turn to coat in the sauce. Place a piece of scrunched up baking paper over the meat and cover tightly with the lid. Simmer gently for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, or until the pork is tender and a deep golden colour. A simmer mat is ideal for this.
To finish: Combine the cornflour and water in a small bowl to make a smooth paste and stir into the cooking juices. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until lightly thickened and glossy.
To serve: Put the hot cooked rice and greens in bowls and top with the pork and sauce. Scatter with spring onions and serve immediately.