As I had mentioned before, pork is something that is new in my kitchen and still in the experimental phase. I had tried pork fry once before and I wanted to try something saucy. I have been reading Neelam Batra’s 1000 Indian Recipes, and it has a lot of great recipes, both traditional and those with a contemporary twist. I must say I am not a fan of recipe books without pictures, but I am loving this book. I am planning on trying a lot more recipes from this book, which I will soon share with all of you. One pork recipe that stood out was ‘Pork Buffat’.
Pork Buffat is a Goan style spicy pork curry where the pork is simmered in freshly ground spices and finished off with some vinegar and red wine. Before you raise your eyebrows for the word ‘red wine’ in the above sentence, or if you get excited on the prospect of having a wine soaked dinner, I have to say it uses nothing but a tablespoon of wine. So, if you are expecting it to be doused in a bottle of red wine, like my husband did, sorry to disappoint you. 🙂 Also, if you’re skeptical about using wine, don’t be. If I served you this dish and did’nt tell you there was wine in this dish, you would’nt know. But, the idea just excites you, doesnt it? It definitely excited me and thats why I decided to try this dish.
If it makes sense for any Indian curry dish to have wine in it, Goan dishes do. Goa, having been a Portugese colony has a huge influence both in its culture and in its cuisine. I have never been to Goa, so, making a Goan dish is the closest I can get to this beautiful state. 🙂 Now, on to Pork Buffat.
1 lb of boneless pork loin, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 tsp finely minced ginger
3/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp dry red wine
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
For spice powder:
6 whole pepper corns
4 dried chillies
1/2 stick cinnamon
3/4 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Grind all the ingredients under ‘for spice powder’ into a fine powder using a mixie. Place all the ingredients except the wine, vinegar and cilantro into a heavy bottomed saucepan over high heat, along with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Let it simmer slowly for about an hour or until the meat is fork tender. If the meat is not tender, and more water and cook a little more.
Mix in the vinegar and wine and simmer another 10 minutes to blend the flavors. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with cilantro and serve.
There is no oil added to this dish, and I believe it relies on the fact that the pork fat rendered during the slow cooking process is enough to keep the meat moist and add richness to the sauce. I used a lean cut of meat, that had all the fat trimmed, so there wasn’t much pork fat, I could see visibly. And, I think its ok. But, if you are need for a richer sauce, you can mix in 1/2 cup of coconut milk at the end, as per the variation suggested by the author, Neelam Batra. I chose to stick to the original version.
Verdict: The dish had a beautiful tang to it, from the vinegar and it wasn’t too spicy. Like I said before, you cannot detect that there was wine added to it, but if you know it was added you can realize the fruity undertone very similar to that of tamarind. Also, the tomato paste was not in the original recipe, I added it and it was quite a good addition.