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Cooking with JoJo: Running out of dinner ideas? Keep calm and curry on

Joey Morasse • Feb 6, 2018 at 11:24 PM

Traditional curry is an Indian creation made from fresh and dried spices such as coriander, cinnamon and cumin that are toasted in a pan to release the natural oils and then ground, usually in a mortar and pestle. 

While this method, although time consuming, is the best way to make curry powder at its freshest and most flavorful. For centuries, pre-made curry powders introduced by the West, have made the road to a great curry dish much faster. The more common meat to use is chicken, but I chose pork for this dish. 

For me, nothing takes on the flavor of a creamy curry sauce than pork that is fall-apart tender. The preparation on the veggies is a quick and easy rough chop. This allows them to roast on high heat without breaking down and take on more curry sauce for a delicious bite. 

The curry sauce is easy to make and also freezes well for your next curry craving.

What you’ll need:

• 2-3 pounds pork roast, cut into cubes.

• 1 large white onion, roughly chopped.

• 3 medium sweet potatoes, cut into cubes.

• 1 head of cauliflower, cut or broken into florets.

• ½ cup coconut oil, split into thirds.

• 2 tsp. red curry powder.

• 2 tsp. green curry powder.

• 1 tsp. turmeric.

• ¼ tsp. ground ginger, fresh is best.

• 4 garlic cloves, finely diced.

• 2 cans coconut milk,

• 2 tsp. salt and pepper, split.

• ¼ fresh basil, roughly chopped.

To make the sauce, in a pot on low to medium heat, add coconut milk, red and green curry, turmeric, ginger, 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper and let simmer on low while you prepare the pork. 

At this time, preheat your oven to 300 degrees. In a medium hot skillet, add a third of the coconut oil and the cubed pork. Sear the meat on all sides to form a crust for added flavor. In a deep baking pan, pour in all the pork and juices. Pour coconut curry sauce over the pork and mix well. Add chopped garlic and cover with foil and put in the oven. 

In another deep baking pan, coat the bottom and sides with a third coconut oil to prevent sticking. Add in all the veggies and the final third of coconut oil, 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper and toss to coat. Cover with foil and put in the oven. 

Baking these separately prevents the veggies from becoming mushy. Let it bake for about two to two and a half hours. The veggies should be soft and the pork, pull apart tender. 

In a plate or bowl, add a serving of veggies and top with the tender pork and a nice ladle of the coconut curry sauce. Top with fresh basil and enjoy.

Cooking since he could pull a chair up to the stove at 5 years old, Joey Morasse, of Lebanon, is the owner and operator of JoJo’s Barbecue and Catering. He is also a personal chef and offers in-home cooking classes.

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