Pork neck curry with roast peanuts and pineapple relish


  • Serves 6 people

  • 1 pork neck (about 1.1kg), cut into 2.5cm pieces
  • 250 ml (1 cup) light soy sauce
  • 800 ml coconut milk
  • 6 star anise
  • 2 pieces cassia bark
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves, coarsely torn
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) fish sauce, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 30 gm light palm sugar, or to taste
  • ½ long red chilli, finely chopped, plus extra (thinly sliced), to serve
  • 250 ml (1 cup) coconut cream
  • 1 cup (firmly packed) Thai basil
  • To serve: steamed jasmine rice and coriander
  • Curry paste
  • 2½ tbsp each coriander and cumin seeds
  • 1 piece cassia bark
  • 1 tsp whole white peppercorns
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1½ tsp finely grated nutmeg
  • 3 long dried red chillies, soaked in warm water until softened
  • 5 golden shallots, thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 25 gm (5cm piece) galangal, finely grated
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, white part only
  • 3 coriander roots, scraped
  • 120 gm roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped, plus extra to serve
  • 1½ tbsp sweet paprika
  • Pineapple relish
  • 55 gm (¼ cup) caster sugar
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 300 gm (about ¼) pineapple, diced
  • ½ cup (loosely packed) coriander
  • 1 tbsp each coconut vinegar and lime juice
  • 1 long red chilli, finely chopped
  • 3 red shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, stalks removed, thinly sliced
01   Place pork neck in a non-reactive shallow dish, cover with soy sauce and refrigerate to marinate for 30 minutes.
02   Meanwhile, combine coconut milk, star anise, cassia, half the lime leaves, 40ml fish sauce and 500ml water in a saucepan over medium heat, bring to a gentle simmer, add pork and simmer until tender (1-1¼ hours), strain and set aside (reserve 250ml liquid).
03   Meanwhile, for curry paste, dry-roast coriander, cumin and cassia bark until fragrant (2-3 minutes). Transfer to a mortar and pestle, add peppercorns and cloves and pound until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Pound remaining ingredients in a mortar and pestle to a fine paste (4-5 minutes), add to spice mixture and combine well. Curry paste will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
04   For pineapple relish, combine sugar and 60ml water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stir occasionally until sugar dissolves then simmer until syrupy (1-2 minutes). Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Add remaining ingredients, transfer to a non-reactive bowl and set aside.
05   Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add curry paste and sauté until fragrant and starting to caramelise (7-10 minutes), add palm sugar, chilli, pork, remaining fish sauce, remaining lime leaves, pork and reserved liquid, simmer to combine (5 minutes). Add coconut cream, reduce heat to low and simmer until thick (20-25 minutes), season to taste with fish sauce and palm sugar and stir through basil. Serve topped with coriander, extra chilli and peanuts, with pineapple relish and steamed rice on the side.
This recipe is from the January 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
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