- 2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 large garlic cloves—2 minced, 2 halved
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest, plus four 3-inch-long strips of zest
- One 6 1/2-pound boneless pork butt
- 3/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1 bunch of scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
- 2 tablespoons coarsely cracked rock candy or granulated sugar
- Steamed rice, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350°. In a bowl, combine 1 teaspoon of the five-spice with the salt, minced garlic and grated orange zest. Place the pork fat side down on a work surface and open up the meat. Rub all over with the spice mixture and fold up the meat.
- Set the pork fat side up in a large roasting pan. Add the halved garlic, orange zest strips, soy sauce, brandy, scallions, sugar and the remaining 1 teaspoon of five-spice powder to the pan along with 1 1/2 cups of water. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 325° and bake for 45 minutes, basting twice. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours, basting every 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for about 45 minutes longer, basting twice, until the pork is richly glazed and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 175°. Transfer the pork to a carving board, cover with foil and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Strain the pan juices into a saucepan; skim off the fat. Boil over high heat until reduced to 2 1/2 cups, 6 minutes. Slice the pork and serve with the pan juices and rice.
This goes well with an earthy, ripe California Syrah.