Monday, February 22, 2010

This little pigy went to market...

Off to market we went, exploring the joys of the Vic Markets on a cold Saturday morning. Yep, despite it being summer, it was cold - as it always is at the markets. Apparently the markets were build on an old cemetery, so you could think of the cold as the spirits blowing up unsettled from the ground. Or rather it is an open space that the fresh wind rushes through.

Now these markets are great. There is the usual souvenir rubbish, most of which is made the China. Then there are live ducklings and chicks, rabbits and goldfish. There is an organic vegetable section, a few covered pavilions of the freshest fruit imaginable, a deli hall, eels and muscles in the fish section, a food court and a few stalls that sell bratwurst. Delicious! I think I will get one for lunch...

As previously mentioned, the fella went nuts with pork. He found a leg selling for $5 per kilo. What he was to do with it, I'm not sure. He wants to master the roast, and is always hankering after some crackling. But I convinced him that what we should make is a slow cooked vindaloo, with the bone added for flavour. Spices, marinating the flesh, slow cooking to produce tender falling apart meat, hot rice and lots of left overs. He agreed and spent considerable time dicing the meat. What a star!

To make your own delicious vindaloo a pork leg is not necessarily needed. I've made it with beef, you could try chicken on the bone also. And the bone is not particularly needed, but I love the wholeness of cooking with the bone, and I imagine that it imparts considerably more flavour. Whether it actually does is another story for another day.

Pork Vindaloo
Serves 6

1 kg pork diced, plus pork bone
6 cardamom pods, crushed to remove seeds
1 tsp peppercorns
4 dried chillis
1 tsp cloves
1 stick cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
4 tbs white vinegar
2 tbs brown vinegar
oil - a good splash
2 onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
5 cm piece ginger, sliced
400 g tin whole tomatoes
4 red chillis, chopped
2 tbs brown sugar

Combine the spices - cardamom, peppercorns, dried chilli, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, coriander and fenugreek - and blend until somewhat ground. I use a heavy mortar and pestle, but you could use a small food processor. Add the vinegars to the spices and pour this fragrant mix over the meat (don't worry about including the bone at this stage). Mix it together well, cover and refrigerate. Marinate for at least 6 hours, but but to 2 days. The longer the better.

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until lightly browned. Add the garlic, ginger, tomatoes and chilli. Stir to combine and cook until fragrant. Add the pork with its marinade, increase the heat to high and fry to seal the meat. Reduce the heat back to medium, add 250 ml water and return to the boil. Add the brown sugar and pork bone. Cover the mix, reduce the heat to low and simmer for a few hours, stirring occasionally.

To serve, discard the bone, pour over rice and add a dollop of natural yoghurt on the side.

Adapted from A Little Taste of India published by Murdock Books.

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