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Place sugar and water in a large pot over medium heat. Stir, then when it bubbles and the sugar is melted (it looks like caramel), add the rest of the ingredients.
Stir, then adjust the heat so it is simmering fairly energetically. Not rapidly, not a slow simmer (I use medium heat on a weak stove, between medium and low on a strong stove).
Simmer for 1.5 hours, uncovered. Stir once or twice while cooking.
At around 1.5 hours, when the liquid has reduced down and the pork is tender, (see Note 3 if pork is not yet tender), the fat will separate (see video).
Stir and the pork will brown and caramelise in the fat.
Once the liquid is all gone and it's now stuck on the pork pieces, it's ready.
Serve over rice, garnished with fresh chilli and shallots. Simple pickled vegetables are ideal for a side because the fresh acidity pairs well with the rich pork.