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Mike Wolfberg's Recipe for Soor Vindaloo - Vinegared Pork Curry

This is one of a dozen recipes developed by Mike for a Concord/Carlisle Massachusetts Newcomers Gourmet Group dinner which took place on 1-Mar-75.

NOTE: A BLENDER IS NEEDED TO PREPARE THIS RECIPE
(Approximate preparation time: 2 3/4 during 6 1/2 hours, as
3/4 hours initial preparation +
3 hours essentially unattended marination +
2 hours second preparation +
3/4 hours unattended cooking)

 

  1. Cut the pork into pieces which are generally about 1" cubes (but also retaining smaller pieces), thoroughly trimming away all fat. This yields about 2 lb. of pieces. Discard the fat and any bone.
  2. Place into a deep (non-aluminum) bowl: black pepper, 1 1/2 tsp. of salt, ground cumin, and ground hot red pepper. Add the white vinegar and mix thoroughly.
  3. Add the pork pieces to the bowl and mix thoroughly to coat them evenly. Cover, and set them aside to marinate at room temperature for about 3 hours. Toss them well every 30 minutes to keep them moist.
  4. After the pork has marinated for about 3 hours, bring 3/4 c. water to a boil. Break the piece of tamarind into several small pieces and put them into a small bowl. Add the boiling water and poke the tamarind down to submerge it. Let it soak for 30-45 minutes while making further preparations.
  5. Wrap the cinnamon stick in a kitchen towel and coarsely crush it with a rolling pin or mallet. Drop the crushed cinnamon stick into the thoroughly dry jar of an electric blender.
  6. Handle the chili with care; see these notes. Deseed and coarsely chop the piece of chili pod. Add it to the blender jar.
  7. Add to the jar: cloves, coriander seeds, brown cardamom seeds, cumin seeds, and kalungi (black onion) seeds. Cover the jar and set it aside for further use in step 12.
  8. Into a bowl drain the marinade as thoroughly as possible from the pork. Squeeze each piece with your hands. Reserve the marinade for use in step 13 and the pork pieces for use in step 15.
  9. Scrape or slice away the brown skin of the ginger root and discard. Chop the ginger to yield 2 TBL. and set it aside for use in step 13.
  10. Peel the garlic cloves and chop the garlic to yield 3 TBL. Set it aside for use in step 13.
  11. Once the tamarind has soaked for at least 30 minutes and softened, prepare tamarind "juice" by straining the tamarind and it soaking liquid into a bowl through a food mill or fine sieve. If you find any pits, discard them immediately. Press down on the stringy pulp to extract as much as possible before discarding the pulp. (You should be discarding very little pulp.) Set the juice aside for use in step 13.
  12. Blend the dry spices in the blender jar at high speed for 2-3 minutes until they become a fine powder. Turn off the blender and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.
  13. Add to the blender jar: the pork marinade, tamarind juice, sugar, chopped ginger, and crushed garlic. Cover and blend at high speed for 3-5 minutes until the mixture is smooth. Turn off the blender and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula if necessary. Also, if necessary, add 1 TBL. of water at a time up to 1/4 c., to aid in blending. Set the blended spices aside for use in step 18.
  14. Peel and finely chop the onion to yield about 2/3 c.
  15. In a 20quart or large ovenware dish which can also be used on the stove, heat 1 TBL. of the ghee over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 to 1/3 of the pork to lightly brown them in a single layer; toss the pieces occasionally for about 5 minutes and then remove them to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Continue browning the remainder of the pork in the same manner. The dish will acquire more cooking liquid as this process continues. After all the pork has been browned (and removed), discard all of the cooking liquid, and return the dish to the burner.
  16. In the same dish, heat 1 TBL. of ghee over moderate heat until a drop of water flicked into it sputters instantly. Add the fenugreek seeds and stir for just 5 seconds. Immediately add the chopped onions and stir, sprinkle with the 1/2 tsp. of salt, and fry for 5-7 minutes until they are richly browned. If necessary, lower the heat to avoid burning. Stir occasionally, but meanwhile, measure 1/4 c. of water to have it ready to use in step 18.
  17. Add the turmeric to the onions and stir. Add about 1 tsp. water and fry for 1 minute stirring constantly.
  18. Add the spice mixture in the blender jar to the onion mixture and stir. Pour the 1/4 c. of water (measured in step 16) into the blender jar, cover, and blend for 10 seconds to retrieve all of the spice mixture remaining. Add it to the mixture being cooked.
  19. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook the mixture for 5-15 minutes, stirring constantly. Lower the heat a little if it spatters too much. Cook until the mixture becomes very thick, so that it draws away from the sides of the dish. (This cooking brings out the flavors of the spices.)
  20. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  21. Add 3/4 c. of water to the mixture being cooked and stir until smooth. Add the browned pork pieces along with any liquid which may have accumulated. Stir thoroughly and bring to a boil (bubbling).
  22. Cover the dish and place it in the oven for 45 minutes.
  23. After the pork has cooked, remove it from the oven and let it cool. There is no need to refrigerate the dish when it is being served the same day.

To serve: Stir the curry, and reheat it (covered) in a 350° oven for 20 minutes (along with the eggplant curry). Serve the pork in an attractive warmed serving dish or mound it on a platter.


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