Thai-style pulled pork cooked in the slow cooker and topped with a fresh cilantro-lime salad
Hello (again) August!
It’s birthday month, and if you’ve been with me through this journey you know that every August here on THB take you all through my favorites; from tacos to barbecue to allthecakeandicecream, it really is the most delicious few weeks of the year (for me).
It’s sometimes hard to justify eating my faves at the time of the year when the sun is at its hottest and humidist, meaning often times I’m at my crankiest. I suffer through it for the sake of the veal paprikash and ease the temps with ice cream cake (more on that next week!). And when turning on the oven is only done for the necessity of cake, I find other ways to get my favorites in and for that, I thank the slow cooker.
A few years ago I mastered (IMO) the art of pulled pork with the righteous pulled pork tacos with apple cider barbecue sauce and apple slaw, and with that knew that I’d never eat a try, tough pork again. Flash forward to now and I’ve done it again, this time with the help of Food & Wine and in the style of Thailand; pulled pork seasoned with all the good things Thai, slow cooked and leaving lots of the good stuff juices to make a very delicious coconut curry sauce.
Served with sliced cucumbers and all topped finally, with a fresh, limey, herby salad, to cool the lot, we’ve got ourselves a handful.
But a good one!
The original recipe called for more steps that I did myself. Rather than prepping some ingredients piecemeal, I took the lazy man’s route and just threw everything into the pot and let it do its thing. No one (besides you) will ever know.
I served these on sub rolls, but also ate the leftovers as tacos because, tacos. It’s such a splendid thing when foods are multi-purpose.
Almost like a birthday gift for this leftover chef.
- 1/4 cup red curry paste
- 4/ cup fish sauce
- 1/4 TB brown sugar
- 4 lb boneless pork shoulder roast
- 2 cups (1 bunch) cilantro stems
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 shallots, coarsely chopped
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 Thai chili
- 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, inner light green and white parts only, coarsely chopped
- 2 TB fresh ginger
- 12 cardamom pods, crushed, seeds removed
- 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 15-oz can coconut milk
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1/4 cup basil
- 1/4 cup mint
- 1 cup red onion, sliced
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 8 hoagie rolls
- In a small saucepan, add the fish sauce, curry paste and brown sugar. Heat until the sugar is has dissolved completely. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Season the pork with the cooled curry paste mixture, coating the whole thing all over, reserving the remainder. Heat a large skillet with about 2 TB vegetable oil to very high heat. Sear the pork, about 3 minutes per side until a nice crust forms. Remove from heat.
- To the bowl of a slow cooker, add the remaining curry sauce, the cilantro leaves, garlic, shallot, lime juice, chili, lemongrass, ginger, cardamom, turmeric and coconut milk. Give it a good stir and add the pork.
- Set on high about 5 hours until the pork easily shred with a fork.
- While the pork cooks, prep the salad. Mix together the cilantro, mint, basil, onion, salt and lime juice. Set aside.
- Remove the pork from the pot and set aside to let cool a little. Shred using two forks (or your stand mixer's whisk attachment). Using an immersion blender, give the liquid a good blend until mostly pureed. Using a sieve, strain the liquid until smooth.
- Serve by filling each roll with pork, topping with the salad and giving it a little drizzle of the sauce.
Written after a pretty happy hour.