To make the complex sauce for this pulled pork, chef Jamie Bissonnette mimics an indoor smoker by wrapping all of the spices and aromatics in foil, then cooking the packet directly on the stovetop burner until the contents are charred and pleasantly smoky.
Slideshow: More Pulled Pork Recipes
1/3 cup Thai red curry paste
1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
6 tablespoons finely grated palm sugar or dark brown sugar
One 4-pound boneless pork shoulder roast with fat cap
2 cups chopped cilantro stems
4 garlic cloves
2 large shallots, halved
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 Thai bird chile
1 stalk of fresh lemongrass, inner light green and white parts only, cut into 3 pieces
One 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
24 cardamom seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
One 15-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk, chilled
1/3 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/2 cup each finely chopped cilantro, Thai basil and mint leaves
Mayonnaise, for spreading
8 brioche buns, split and toasted
Thinly sliced cucumber and red onion, cilantro, Thai basil and lime wedges, for serving
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 325°. In a small skillet, simmer the curry paste with the fish sauce and 1/4 cup of the palm sugar over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and a smooth paste forms. Let cool slightly.
Season the pork with salt and rub it all over with the curry paste. Set the roast in a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Cover and roast, basting occasionally with the pan juices, until the meat is very tender, about 3 1/2 hours. Uncover and roast until a golden-brown crust forms, about 15 minutes.
Transfer the pork to a large bowl and let rest for 15 minutes. Using 2 forks, shred the meat. Skim the fat from the pan juices, then stir the juices into the shredded pork. Cover with foil and keep warm.
Make a large double layer of foil. Wrap the cilantro stems, garlic, shallots, lime leaves, chile, lemongrass, ginger, cardamom and turmeric in the foil and seal the sides. Set the packet seam side up directly on a burner or in a cast-iron skillet. Cook over moderate heat until aromatic and beginning to smoke, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the packet to a rack; let cool slightly. The cilantro stems should be tender and the ingredients on the bottom should be lightly charred.
Scrape the contents of the packet into a food processor. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of palm sugar and process to a smooth paste.
Open the can of coconut milk and spoon the thick cream on the surface into a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over moderately high heat and whisk in the cilantro paste. Whisk in the coconut milk and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Stir in the pulled pork and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chopped herbs and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Spread mayonnaise on the buns and top with the pulled pork, cucumber, red onion, cilantro and basil leaves. Serve with lime wedges.
The pulled pork can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.
A thirst-quenching Thai pale lager.
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Review Body: I made this recipe for my gourmet group. The pork was simply amazing when it came out of the oven with the curry and sugar. However, it was so over-complicated with all the other ingredients, which you can only use a little of otherwise it would be completely overwhelming. I'm making the pork again this weekend, but I'm just sticking with the basic recipe of red curry and brown sugar.
Review Rating: 2
Date Published: 2016-07-22
Author Name: ecl333
Review Body: I also kept the sauce separate. I thinned with cilantro paste with some coconut milk and served it on the side for those who wanted to drizzle it on. My husband and I loved the complex flavor and heat it added to the pork. My daughter preferred it with the curry paste seasoning alone. I made the recipe with two 3-4 lb bone-in pork shoulders and there was plenty of paste and sauce for all of the pork. I slow-cooked the pork as I always do -- at 225 degrees until the internal temp is at least 200 degrees. It fell apart beautifully. I shredded it and then added the defatted juices. Delicious!!
Review Rating: 5
Date Published: 2017-11-06
Author Name: Jenny Komorowski
Review Body: I always follow a recipe as is and then I will tweek it my own way BUT This recipe was amazing, flavours were not too strong and everyone gave positive feedback. I actually also made an original pulled pork and this one was eaten the most. Will certainly make it again
Review Rating: 5
Date Published: 2017-01-08
Author Name: Virginia Klug Collison
Review Body: I thought the pork was amazing. I loved the sauce, but after reading the first review, I decided to leave it separate so people could use (or not use) what they wanted. I think it would have been very overwhelming if mixed into the pork. I will definitely make this again.