The new year is supposed to be all about resolutions – whether it’s to eat better, make more meals at home, be a little more budget-conscious, or just experiment with some new flavours in the kitchen. I’d like to think that this comforting pork curry checks all of the boxes.
It all starts with boneless pork shoulder, which is one of my favourite cuts of pork because it’s so flavourful and affordable. It is absolutely perfect for the kinds of slow-cooked dishes that I crave this time of year.
I picked up this beautifully marbled pork roast from Sanagan’s in Kensington Market, which proudly sources all of its pork from Ontario farms. This is important to me because I believe that buying local means you’re supporting your local famers and also getting the tastiest, freshest product possible. You can find nearby stores that sell locally-grown pork using the “Where to Buy” map, or just ask your favourite butcher shop if they sell Ontario pork.
Aside from making me crave stick-to-your-ribs comfort food, the January weather always has me craving a getaway to someplace warm and tropical.
Sadly, my pocketbook is usually looking pretty bare after the holidays. This Southeast Asian inspired curry is the next best thing (and way more affordable!), with its bright blend of lemongrass, turmeric, ginger, chili and cilantro tempered with rich coconut milk. The brilliant yellow sauce adds a little sunshine to the greyest winter days, particularly once you throw in bright pops of orange butternut squash and fresh green beans.
Paired with jasmine rice, it’ll give you the boost you need to tackle the rest of your list of resolutions, no matter what they might be.
Serves 4 - 6
1 hr 30 Minutes
- 1 small yellow onion, cut into rough chunks
- 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp roughly chopped fresh ginger
- 1 red Thai chili, seeded and roughly chopped (optional)
- ½ cup fresh cilantro
- 2 tbsp lemongrass paste
- 2 lb boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1” cubes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 can (400ml) coconut milk
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 cups diced butternut squash
- 1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 1” lengths
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- Fresh cilantro, for garnish
- Using a food processor, pulse the onion, garlic, ginger and chili until finely chopped. Add the cilantro and lemongrass paste, and process until you have a smooth paste. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Season the pork cubes all over with salt and pepper. Working in batches, sear the pork until well browned on all sides. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the browned pork to a large bowl, and set aside.
- Add the lemongrass paste and turmeric to the pot, and cook for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Immediately add the coconut milk, water and fish sauce, and stir well to combine. Return the browned pork to the pot, along with any accumulated juices.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Add the butternut squash, and cook for 35-45 minutes longer or until the pork is tender and the squash pierces easily with a fork. Add the green beans, and cook for 5 minutes longer or until bright green and tender.
- Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning with a little more salt and pepper, if desired.
- To serve, spoon to jasmine rice and sprinkle with chopped cilantro, if desired.