Spiced Minced Pork Batak Style

Piong Duku Babi

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • For

    4–6

    people

Appears in

Indonesian Regional Food and Cookery

By Sri Owen

Published 1994

  • About

This is a minced pork dish traditionally cooked in green bamboo segments. This method of cooking pig in green bamboo is found in other parts of Indonesia, among the Dayak of West Kalimantan and the Minahasa in North Sulawesi. They, too, use the blood of the pig, obtained when the animal’s throat is cut, as one of the ingredients. The Dayak in fact chop an entire small pig into little pieces, innards and all, and cook the lot, with the blood, in a number of bamboo segments around a bonfire. The segments are supported between two wooden rails, and frequently rotated so that the contents are evenly cooked. It takes about 3 hours and is very laborious; even in 1987, when I first watched it being done, I was surprised that no-one seemed to have thought of stuffing the spiced pork mixture into the skin of the pig to cook it. But it is only the Balinese who, for a big feast day, cook the famous babi guling, a whole stuffed pig roasted on a large bamboo spit, turning over a glowing charcoal fire in a shallow trench.

I have found black pudding quite a satisfactory substitute for the fresh blood. But if you can’t get a good black pudding, use the pig’s liver instead. Here, I wrap the minced pork in banana leaves, then in aluminium foil, roll it up and cook it in the oven. This recipe also suggests a method for making piong duku babi with a whole leg of pork.

Ingredients

  • 450 g/1 lb boneless pork chops
  • 170 g/6 oz/ cups papaya or cassava leaves, or young vine leaves or curly kale
  • 285 ml/½ pint/ cups coconut milk
  • 112 g/4 oz/½ cup black pudding, or pig’s liver
  • Salt and pepper

For the Paste

  • 5 shallots or 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3–6 red chillies, de-seeded and chopped
  • 2 tsp coriander seed
  • 2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 2.5-cm/1-inch piece of galingale, finely chopped
  • 3–4 red tomatoes, skinned and de-seeded, then chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp coconut milk

Method

With a cleaver, chop the pork chops, or mince them in a mincer. Keep aside. Shred the leaves finely, and chop the black pudding, discarding the skin. (If liver is used, chop this also.)

Put all the ingredients for the paste in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Then transfer the paste to a small saucepan and simmer for 6 minutes, stirring often. Add the shredded leaves, stir these around, then add the rest of the coconut milk. Continue to simmer for about 10 minutes. Adjust the seasoning and leave this to get cold.

Meanwhile, put the chopped or minced pork together with the chopped black pudding or liver into a large glass bowl. When the paste with the leaves is cold, mix this well into the meat. Then, put the meat mixture on top of a flat tray already lined with banana leaves. Roll the meat to make a large sausage shape. Put this banana leaf roll on top of two layers of aluminium foil, and roll the foil around it. Cook in a preheated oven at 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 2 for 50–60 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 100°C/210°F/Gas Mark ¼, and continue cooking for 1–2 hours longer.

To Serve

Unwrap the piong duku babi, transfer it into a large serving dish, and cut into thick slices. Serve hot with plenty of rice.

With a Whole Leg of Pork

Carefully score the skin of the leg of pork with a sharp knife. Then cut the skin lengthways and cut it away from the meat in one piece. Keep aside. Bone the meat and cut it into large cubes; you will only need to use 450 g/1 lb of the meat for this recipe. Keep the rest of the meat for other purposes. Mince the 450 g/1 lb of the meat in a mincer or food processor.

You will need the same paste, shredded leaves and black pudding or liver as above. Mix all these ingredients together, and carefully place them along the centre line of the skin. Roll the whole lot into a large sausage shape, and tie it in three or four places with string. Rub the skin with salt. Put the rolled pork on a rack on a roasting tray and roast for 1 hour in a pre-heated oven at 160°C/320°F/Gas Mark 3. After 1 hour, turn the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5 and continue roasting for another 30–35 minutes. By this time you will have nice crisp crackling. Transfer the pork to a serving platter, carve into thick slices and serve straight away.