Thai Meat and Tomato Sauce
- SERVINGS: 4
This is rather like a tomato-based pasta sauce with a wonderful Thai flavor. A staple in northern Thailand, it's available in every market there, no matter how small.
- 1 teaspoon minced dried shrimp or 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste
- 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
- 1 or 2 bird or serrano chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh lemongrass, white bulb only (or 1 teaspoon dried lemongrass, soaked for 1/2 hour, then drained and minced)
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/4 pound lean ground pork
- 1 pound ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped, or 8 canned plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 1/2 cup light chicken stock, canned low-sodium broth or water
- 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- In a mortar or small food processor, grind the dried shrimp with the shallots, chiles and lemongrass.
- In a wok or a large nonreactive skillet, heat the oil. Add the garlic and stir-fry over moderately high heat until it starts to brown, about 20 seconds. Add the shrimp mixture and stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add the pork and stir-fry until browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, stock, fish sauce and sugar and increase the heat to high. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Reduce the heat to low and partially cover the pan. Cook the sauce until thickened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve with rice.
Serve With Thai Sticky Rice or Thai Jasmine Rice.