I felt especially domestic yesterday as I whipped up my butternut squash lasagna and made this curried pork stew at the same time. The stew came together in a flash. There is minimal prep time; the vegetables are roughly cut and you use a curry paste instead of mincing and measuring a long list of the usual curry ingredients. I’ve minced plenty of garlic, seeded countless chiles, and pounded enough lemongrass in my lifetime to really appreciate this shortcut. After letting the cooked stew cool, I refrigerated it in the same pan I cooked it in. Dinner tonight was as easy as reheating the stew and baking some store-bought naan.
We buy our curry paste for about $.89 a can at nearby Asian Mart. As the name suggests, this store supplies Asian and Asian-inspired ingredients and cooking tools. It’s fun to shop there because you never know what you’ll find. I’ve walked out with a wide variety of items you just can’t find anywhere else, like a 20-pound mortar and pestle, an economy pack of chopsticks, long beans, and tamarind paste, to name a few. The owners are delightful and it’s fun to see what chefs from Milwaukee’s ethnic restaurants pick up as they shop alongside you.
Curried Pork Stew with Potatoes
adapted from Whole Foods Market
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 oz (340 g) boneless pork sirloin chops, cut into 1‑inch cubes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 red onion, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) chicken broth
1 cup (240 ml) coconut milk
3 tablespoons green curry paste, or to taste (3 tablespoons makes a very spicy curry)
1 lb (450 g) red potatoes, cut into 1‑inch chunks
1 lb (450 g) carrots or parsnips, cut into 1‑inch chunks
Heat the oil in a large pot over a medium-high heat. Season the cubed pork with salt and pepper. Cook until deep golden brown. Add the onions and about 2 tablespoons water to loosen the browned bits in the bottom of the pot and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan, until the onions are just softened, about 3 minutes. Add the broth, coconut milk and curry paste and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the potatoes and carrots and simmer for 10 minutes, then uncover and simmer until the vegetables are tender and the stew is thickened, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with naan or rice (or both).