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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Thai Pulled Pork

You all know I love me some slow Sunday cooking. Afterall, slow cooking is for long, slow days which are wonderful...and which absolutely do not exist in my life anymore so please don't be fooled by this post. In fact, the idea of even being in the house for the 3.5 hrs that it takes to roast this pork is unimaginable. In full disclosure, I made this one day recently when I was working from home. The prep actually only takes a matter of minutes. It's the roasting that takes all afternoon. So it's not like you're slaving over the stove, but you do need to be INSIDE.

I don't stand a chance at making this on a weekend with a toddler who, when inside, spends all of his time at the door holding his shoes in his hands saying, "outside? outside? outside? outside?" You get the idea. Anyway, do whatever you have to do to make this but puhlease don't use a slow cooker, ok? Not allowed here and it just won't work. Period. But it IS an absolutely delicious recipe with lots of leftovers that can be used in a few hundred ways.

1/3 cup Thai red curry paste
1/4 cup fish sauce
6 tbsp brown sugar
4-lb pork shoulder (I used bone in)
2 cups chopped cilantro
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 large shallots, halved
1 stalk of lemongrass - inner part only, cut into three pieces
1/3 tsp ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp tumeric
1 1.2-inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced
1 15-oz can coconut milk (not shaken!)
1/3 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup chopped basil and mint leaves

1. Preheat oven to 325. In small pan, simmer curry paste, fish sauce, and 1/4 cup of sugar over moderate heat until sugar is dissolved and smooth paste forms. Let cool slightly.

2. Place pork in a dutch oven and season with salt and rub all over with curry paste. Cover and roast, basting every hour with juices, until very tender and falls off least 3.5 hrs. Uncover and roast for 15 more minutes until crusty. Remove from oven and let cook. Pull apart and shred with a fork.

3. Combine cilantro, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, cardamom, tumeric, ginger and pulse in a food processor. Add remaining sugar and process until smooth.

4. Open can of coconut and scoop the creamy top into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over moderate heat and whisk in cilantro paste. Whisk in the rest of the coconut milk and chicken stock and bring to a simmer.

5. Stir the pork into the sauce and season with salt and pepper as needed. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.

Serve with rice.

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