Every New Year’s Eve is kind of a big deal in my family’s neck of the woods. Aside from it being a national day to eat, drink and be merry it’s also my Uncle John’s birthday. If there’s a guy to eat drink and be merry with it’s this guy.
I am partial to Indian food and most everyone in the Powell household is partial to heat so it was natural to turn to Madhar Jaffrey’s Quick and Easy Indian Cooking. I let John select the dish and he gravitated pretty immediately to the Pork Vindaloo. The recipe calls for either lamb or pork, I was in Iowa so… when in Rome. We also doubled this recipe from the start since we knew the shindig would get a bit deep and didn’t want any hungry folks in the crowd.
John had most of the items on our ingredients list (he spends a good chunk of time in his kitchen) and I easily found the rest at the local grocery store. While John made the spice paste, I cubed the pork butt and cut up the onion and garlic.
The onions go in the pan first, get them nice and medium brown. Add the garlic in with the onions for two-shakes and then it’s go-time with the paste and meat. The coconut milk is last to the mix and then you just simmer until that pork is tender.
We added A LOT of extra cayenne because we all love the heat, but if you follow the recipe, this is an extremely mild dish. We also simmered the whole concoction for a little over two hours while we waited for more guests to show up and because it made that pork so tender it brought one little tear to the corner of your eye… a sweet tear of tender-pork-joy.
Everyone at the party loved it! We just served it over rice (my Aunt Jane made that, I am horrible at rice) which also went with John’s gumbo. He makes it pretty frequently and follows the recipe in his bible, a.k.a. Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen. I doubt you’ll find a bigger fan of Paul in all the land.
I gave John Tom Fitzmorris’s New Orleans Food for Christmas on the highest recommendation of Christie Cure. (I guess Prudhomme and Fitzmorris were buddies in New Orleans.) Christie said if she were stranded on an desert island and could only have five books, New Orleans Food would be one. Not a bad endorsement, but I digress. The Pork Vindaloo was a pure delight and I’d make it again. John said he’d make it again, and one of the woman at the party scooped a good portion into a to-go container. We give Madhar Jaffrey’s Quick and Easy Indian Cooking two thumbs way up!