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Pork Vindaloo. No, really. (x-post)
OK, I know this dish sounds like the punchline to a joke that starts out, "George Allen and a Virginia hog farmer walk into a bar followed by an Indian-American videographer. The bartender is Desi Arnaz." I've always passed it by with a snicker (Sepoy Rebellion, anyone?) when I've seen it in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, until last night when I was looking for something quick to do with pork. I don't know if this dish has ever been eaten in India, but it tastes amazing and that's good enough for me. We ate it with steamed brown rice and fresh spinach (shock, horror!) wilted with olive oil and garlic. I think it would also be good with sweet potatoes.


4 tablespoons canola or other neutral vegetable oil (I only used 2 and it was fine)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3-4 cloves)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon black or yellow mustard seeds, optional
Salt to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon)
5 cinnamon sticks or 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (the more, the merrier--I used about 1 teaspoon)
2 pounds pork shoulder or butt roast, cut into 1/2-1 inch cubes, visible fat removed
1/2 cup rice vinegar or other mild vinegar

Heat oil in a large skillet or casserole that can be covered. Add spices and salt and stir until spices begin to release their fragrance. Add pork and vinegar, bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until pork is tender. Enjoy!

Pretty simple, really. I'm sure you could make this successfully in a crockpot, if you didn't mind dirtying a skillet for the browning step first.

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