I can’t get enough curry. Indian or Thai, Korean or Japanese, curries have always intrigued me. I love the way they smell, the rich tones of garlic, ginger and onions, the dark and nutty flavors of cardamom, cumin, and garam masala, and the light notes of turmeric and paprika. I love the way they permeate your senses, your skin and pores. A good curry will leave you smelling like it for days. Even in Mexican culture the curry has showed its influence in the black Oaxacan moles of the south.

Usually, curries are a time-consuming process. A dish better left for weekend dinners when a cool bottle of Vihno Verde can offer a helping hand and some hot pita bread and fresh hummus can stave off the hungry furtive glances over the counter. This vindaloo, I’m afraid to say, is no exception. After searing the meat and onions, and adding the spices, it still takes two hours to bring the pork to ultimate succulence – but it is worth it, believe me.

I wanted to make this curry for lunch today, but didn’t have any pork thawed. I had ordered some in my box, a Wild Rye bundle gave me 1.5 pounds of country style pork ribs, but they were still frozen solid this morning. I placed them on a plate, lightly covered them with plastic wrap and put them in the fridge. Country-style ribs work great for this dish, the ample marbling breaks down during the slow cooking process becoming soft and tender. It also works well for chile verde, carnitas and after deboning, slicing them in half lengthwise and pounding into thin cutlets, makes a great mustard cutlet dish.

But this cut really sings after a slow cook in fragrant liquids. Whether roasted tomatillos and chiles, or in a curry sauce, the country style ribs break down and fall apart, tender and juicy. Besides the long cooking time, the rest of the recipe is actually pretty easy. Just remember to caramelize the onions, don’t brown the garlic and be patient. Enjoy.

1.5 pounds country-style pork ribs, de-boned and cubed as above

3 T vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped

6 garlic cloves, chopped

1 1/2 T flour

1/2 T sweet paprika

1/2 t cumin

1/2 t cardamom

1/4 t cayenne pepper

1/4 t cloves, ground

3/4 cups chicken stock

8 oz diced tomatoes

1 T red wine vinegar

1/2 T mustard seeds

1 bay leaf

1/2 t sugar

1/4 cup minced cilantro leaves

1 cup yogurt (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat to almost smoking. Sear pork in two batches, give space between each piece to sear well and brown. Turn only once after the first side is well browned. Remove and place in a bowl. Continue with another tablespoon oil and the rest of the pork. Discard rendered fat and turn down to medium heat. Saute onions until golden brown and caramelized, about 10-15 minutes, add garlic and saute for 30 seconds more until fragrant. Scrape the accumulated fond off  the bottom of the pan with the onions as you stir.

Add flour, paprika, cumin, cardamom, cayenne, and cloves. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth and scrape the bottom of the pan, add tomatoes, vinegar, mustard seeds and bay leaf.  Add sugar and pork, with any accumulated liquids, and bring to a simmer. Cover and place in the oven. Cook for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, or until pork is fork tender.

Remove from oven, skim off excess fat and add chopped cilantro and yogurt if desired. Serve with basmati or jasmine rice and fresh naan or thick flour tortillas.

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