Pork Vindaloo

This is not a quick recipe. I realize many people won’t have many of the herbs on hand and grinding your own herbs is a bit fussy, but if you want Indian food with exceptional flavor and texture you won’t be disappointed. Although, you can find all of the herbs at any Indian market, I’ve been able to find all of these herbs at American markets. Some of the more esoteric ones were found at places like Whole Foods and PCC. Thogg, who proclaims he hates Indian food, went back for thirds. 🙂

We were snowed in today so I had to make due with what we had. I would have liked to have added a few more varieties of veg (namely cauliflower and peas) and maybe some fresh cilantro on top. Other than that, this recipe was to die for. Also, marinading the meat the night before does wonders to the taste and texture.

Ingredients for the Vinadaloo:

  • 2 lbs of pork sirloin roast – chopped into 1.5 inch chunks
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 4 dried chilies (for less heat, discard the seeds)
  • 1/2 tsp whole cloves
  • 4 inch cinnamon stick – broken to pieces
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 4 Tbs white wine vinegar (or if you can get it, white coconut vinegar from an Indian mart)
  • 1 Tbs aged balsamic vinegar (or if you can get it, molasses vinegar from an Indian mart)
  • 4 Tbs cooking oil (I used olive)
  • 2 medium onions – finely chopped
  • 4 medium sized carrots – finely diced
  • 10 garlic cloves (or about 1 head of garlic) – finely minced
  • 2 inch piece of ginger – peeled and finely minced
  • 1 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 4 green chilies (I omitted this because Thogg is a spice wuss)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar (or jaggery from an Indian mart)
  • 1 medium head of broccoli – diced smallish (less than an inch)

Things I did not add but wish I’d had on hand:

  • 1/2 to 1 full pack of frozen peas
  • 1/2 a head of finely diced cauliflower
  • hand full of chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

  1. The night before you eat… Split open the cardamom pods and remove the seeds. With a mortar and pestle, finely grind the cardamom seeds, peppercorns, dried chillies, cloves, cinnamon, cumin seeds,  coriander seeds, and fenugreek seeds. Your arms will probably be sore at this point – or you can use a spice grinder or dedicated coffee grinder to make it easier. Mix in the turmeric. Add to the chopped pork and mix to coat evenly. Place in the refrigerator to marinade over night.
  2. 5 hours before eating… Add the vinegar to the pork, stir to coat evenly. Leave in the fridge for another 3 hours to marinate and tenderize. You probably don’t want to do this the night before, I would worry that the vinegar might break down the meat too much and give it a really weird texture.
  3. 2 hours before eating… Preheat your oven to 325. Heat a heavy dutch oven over medium high heat.  (You need on that is oven safe and has a lid) Add the oil and onions and cook until the onions begin to brown. Add the ginger and cook for a few more minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. (If the bottom of your pan starts to get too brown and you can’t scrape it off before it begins burning, add a little white wine and deglaze at any point you need to.) Increase the temperature to high and add the tomatoes. The juice of the tomatoes will help deglaze the pan even further. Cook until mixutre begins to thicken. Add the pork and cook for another few minutes. Add the remaining pork juices (if any remain) and another 10 ounces (just a bit more than a cup) of water and a healthy pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cover.
  4. Place the covered vinaloo in the oven for 1.5 hours. After the first 45 minutes, stir and scrape any of the mixture that is beginning to stick to the walls of the dutch oven. After another 45 minutes, take the vindaloo out of the oven. Add the broccoli (and peas and cauliflower if you are using it) and cook on the stove top (on low heat) for another 10 minutes.
  5. Garnish with cilantro and serve over basmati rice (recipe link = http://cookingforthogg.livejournal.com/8571.html).

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