2. Heat the oil until very hot in a 4-quart casserole or a Dutch oven with a lid. Add half the pork pieces. Sear the outside of half the pork over high heat until brown, turning once. Remove and sear the remaining meat. Set aside.
3. Reheat the pan and oil, add the Seasonings. Stir-fry until fragrant, about 15 seconds, then add the Braising Mixture. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Add the pork, bring the liquid to a boil, and reduce the heat to low. Let simmer, covered, for 35 to 40 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes, stir, cover, and continue cooking for about 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Serve the pork and potatoes atop a bed of blanched or steamed greens, with some of the braising mixture spooned on top and accompanied by steamed rice.
Darra Goldstein is editor in chief of The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, an 888-page reference guide to all things sweet. "The book is really a compendium of human desires, a cultural history of desire for things that are sweet and what it has caused in the world, in both the realm of pleasure and also of pain," she says.