Char Siu

Char Siu is Chinese Barbequed Pork. It's traditionally produced in a special closet - with slices of pork hung over a slow, open fire. I've modded the technique for use in a modern oven, and the marinade/sauce has been Americanized.

1 1/2 lbs pork butt
2 Tbl cider vinegar
2 Tbl white sugar
3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 of a Habanero pepper
1 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbl yellow mustard
2 garlic cloves, chopped
black pepper
Slice 2 12 oz strips from a whole, pork butt, about 3/4 inch in thickness.

Combine all ingredients, stir well but reserve 1/2 of the marinade. Place 1/2 of the marinade along with the meat into a quart zip-lock bag. Massage the bag. Marinate under refrigeration for 12-24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 240-250 degrees F. Place an oven rack on the top-most rung. Put a metal pan, half-full of hot water, on the floor of the oven.

Shake off the excess marinade from the strips. Bend four trussing needles into "S" hooks. Thread the lower sides of two hooks into the top of each strip. Hang the strips on a grate of the oven rack over the steaming water pan.

(Keep an eye on the water in the pan. It will evaporate. Fill it with hot water - when needed.)

Roast until finished (3 hours). Carefully baste with excess marinade every hour. During the last 30 minutes of roasting, molasses or honey drizzled over each strip will improve the caramelization. Heat the reserved BBQ sauce in a small pan.

Remove the Char Siu from the oven. Season with salt and black pepper. Pull out the hooks, then coarsely slice it into strips against the grain. Serve in warm, flour tortillas or buns, slathered with the BBQ sauce.

1 Tbl of hot sauce may be substituted for the Habanero.