Saturday, December 20, 2014

Pork with Onions, Vinegar, and Coconut Milk (Vindaloo)

After getting back from Canada, I was in a cooking malaise. Everything was just kind of okay. Nothing outstanding, nothing bad. This dish was a happy surprise and break from that trend. It's not terribly spicy for a vindaloo, but the tangy vinegar and caramelized red onions add a wonderful depth of flavor. The original below is written for tender pork loin chops. I used pork stew meat and let them simmer in a whole can of coconut milk for 2 hours. I've been cooking a lot with cheeks lately and if you can find them to use here in place of stew meat, I think they'd give a wonderful contrast to the tangy vinegar.

One year ago: Curry Pork Pies
Two years ago: Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good
Three years ago: Pickled Cabbage
Four years ago: Spicy Red Beef Curry
Five years ago: Egg Drop

Pork with Onions, Vinegar, and Coconut Milk (Vindaloo) (from 600 Curries)

1/4 cup cider vinegar or malt vinegar
1 tbsp coarsely chopped ginger
1 tsp cumin seeds
6 large garlic cloves
2 small red onions: 1 coarsely chopped, 1 finely chopped
2 dried red Thai or cayenne chiles, stems removed
2 fresh green Thai, cayenne, or serrano chiles, stems removed
1 tsp coarse kosher or sea salt
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp canola oil
1 lb boneless pork loin chops, cut into strips 1" wide and 1/4" thick (or use cubed stew meat and see header notes)
2/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or 1 can if using a tougher cut)
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

1. Pour vinegar into a blender jar and add ginger, cumin seeds, garlic, coarsely chopped red onion, dried chiles, and fresh chiles. Puree until smooth. Fold in salt and turmeric.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add finely chopped onion and stir-fry until light honey brown, 5 - 10 minutes.
3. Stir in vinegar paste and cook uncovered until vinegar evaporates and paste is slightly dry, 3 - 5 minutes.
4. Add pork strips and cook until meat is seared, 2 minutes.
5. Pour in coconut milk and stir to deglaze.
6. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until sauce thickens and pork is tender, 7 - 10 minutes for pork loin chops or 2 hours for a tougher cut).
7. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

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