I'm camping out at at a National Park near Krabi, and for dinner, I'm planning a sweet sour pork stew. With a barbecue as your heat source, you can't really arrange to have a slow simmer. You can't regulate the temperature of charcoal, and you'd need to raise the pot high above the flame and adjust it every few minutes. That would be a lot of work, which the underwater method fixes.
I had my new camping tool with me, the fan made lighting the barbecue very very easy! The night light was great to cook by, but being bright white attracted some bugs.
Thanbok Khoranee National Park has sea caves to visit, and waterfalls, I'm doing those tomorrow. So I'll need a good meal tonight for energy.
This is where the underwater cooking method comes in! I used it last week to cook a chicken on a barbecue, today I'm using it to simmer a pork stew.
The cold water pan on the top, regulates the temperature below, as long as the top water is cold, then the pan inside will stay at simmer. Juices in the meat and pineapple condense on the cold pan and fall back into the stew keeping it juicy, with all the flavor in.
The underwater tower of pans is: charcoal burner at the bottom, a pan with the stew ingredients in it in the middle, and a cold water pan on the top. I chose my wok because it fits my steamer pan with a good seal. The seal is important, it keeps the juices and steam inside.
Since I was camping, I used the local market and couldn't find ketchup, but the stew was fine without it, if a little anemic in color! I also added my garnish into the stew and blanched it just before serving. I couldn't be sure it had been washed in drinking water, and so it was safer to give it a quick blanch.
With the last batch of cold water in the top pan, you can add a little rice and make this into a full meal.
300 gms Pineapple
500 gms Pork Ribs
500 gms Cheap Cut Pork Meat
3 Tablespoons Oil
4 Tablespoons Light Soy Sauce
4 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce
6 Tablespoons White Wine Or Mirin Sake
4 Tablespoons Sugar
4 Tablespoons Ketchup
Chopped Spring Onion Garnish
Coriander to Garnish (Optional)
1. Chop and cut the pork and ribs. You want good large sized pieces of meat, they'll cook down over the next few hours.
2. Cut the pineapple into decent sized chunks. A campsite stew should be a bit butch!
3. Put the oil in a pan and brown off the meat. It's for flavor, it doesn't need to be cooked through, just a bit of brown crust.
4. Get you charcoal lit and roaring.
5. It's very simple, everything goes into the cooking pot except for the garnishes.
6. You place the pan on the heat, a cold water pan on top.
7. The water in the top needs to stay cool or at least warm. When it starts getting hot, it needs replacing.
8. If you leaving this to go splash in the river, like me, put plenty of cold water and some ice in the top pan, it will stay cold longer.
9. You should be able to hear it boiling in the middle pan, that's fine, as long as there is a good seal between the top pan of cold water and the middle pan, the juice will stay inside and it won't dry off and burn.
10. Try it after 1 hour, if its still tough, give it another hour. This is a slow cook dish, for camping, it needn't be rushed.