Thịt Giò Bó (Red Pork Roll)

RECIPE:  Thịt Giò Bó

a piece of Pork Belly or Pork Butt, washed, dry pat
1 1/2 teaspoon Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground Pepper
1 teaspoon Five Spices
1/2 teaspoon Peppercorns
4 tablespoons minced Shallot (2 whole shallots)
Twine, to tie meat
2 large Beets, peeled and chopped each into 16 pieces
(make about 2 cups red beet coloring)
Making Red Food Coloring

In a pot, bring beets with just enough water to fully cover them to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for about an hour or until beets are soft.  Add more water during simmering as needed.  Strain the beet liquid and preserve about 2 cups of liquid.  Set aside.   Make sure to use gloves when handling beets as it will stain your hands and it's hard to clean off.   I also covered my cutting board so it wont get stained.   
Marinating Meat
Combine all the ingredients. Rub the pork belly with the marinade mixture. 
Roll it up and tie it tight with twine. Marinate for at least an hour in the refrigerator. 
Cooking Meat
Place meat in a pot and pour 1 1/2 cups of red beet color over the meat.  Bring it to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer with cover on for about 30 minutes.  During the simmering process, turn the meat and coat it with red color occasionally.  
Thịt Giò Bó can be enjoyed with banh mi (Vietnamese baguette sandwich) with or without pate, and cha lua (Vietnamese ham).  Remove the twine.  Thinly slice the meat and insert it in the baguette sandwich.  Garnish it with pickled carrot and daikon, julienned cucumber, a few sprigs of cilantro, sprinkle some fresh ground pepper and a dash of good soy sauce.  
Chúc ông bà 1 tô như ý. 
Chúc cô chú 1 chén an khang. 
Chúc anh chị 1 dĩa, 1 dĩa...tài lộc!

Here's to the Year of the Dragon . . .