Fragrant Pork and Pumpkin Curry

I first tasted curried pork in coconut milk in Thailand, which is one of my favourite places.
This is not an overly spicy dish, so it's good for introducing children to Asian foods and
widening their palate. Look out for kaffir lime leaves, which come fresh, frozen or dried.
Fresh are best, and any that you don’t use can be kept in the freezer for another day.

Serves 4–6

  • 50g (2oz) Thai red curry paste (from a jar)
  • 1kg (2 ¼lb) pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into cubes
  • 8 kaffir lime leaves, lightly crushed (optional)
  • 500ml (18fl oz) chicken stock
  • 2 x 250ml (9fl oz) cartons coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated root ginger
  • 675g (1 ½lb) pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 1 tbsp light muscovado sugar
  • steamed Thai fragrant rice or basmati rice, to serve
  • 25g (1oz) fresh coriander leaves, to garnish
  • 25g (1oz) fresh mint leaves, to garnish
  • 2 spring onions, trimmed and shredded, to garnish
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges, to garnish

    Method

Heat a wok or a large, deep, non-stick frying pan over a medium to high heat. Add the
curry paste and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the pork and cook, stirring, for 4
minutes, or until the pork is well coated. Add the lime leaves (if using), stock, coconut
cream and ginger and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes. Add the pumpkin and cover and
simmer for another 15 minutes, or until the pork and pumpkin are tender. Stir through the
lime juice, fish sauce and sugar.

To serve, divide the pork and pumpkin curry among serving bowls with the rice in a separate warmed serving bowl. Serve to the table with separate dishes of the coriander, mint,shredded spring onions and lime wedges so that guests can garnish the curry themselves.


Pork Cutlets with Roasted Apple

These pork chops are roasted until they’re beautifully golden but still tender and moist. They would also be delicious done on the barbecue or under the grill.

Serves 4

  • 1 small orange
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp prepared English mustard
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4 loin pork chops (on the bone)
  • 1 eating apple
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano leaves
  • 50g (2oz) butter, melted
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • jacket potatoes, to serve
  • steamed greens, to serve

    Method

Finely grate the rind from the orange into a bowl and then squeeze in the juice. Whisk in the oil, mustard and rosemary. Season to taste and pour into a shallow non-metallic dish. Using a small, sharp knife, score the fat and rind of the pork chops, then add to the marinade, turning to coat. Cover with clingfilm and set aside for at least 10 minutes, or up to 24 hours in the fridge is great, to allow the flavours to penetrate the meat.

When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/gas mark 7). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Shake off the excess marinade from the pork and place the chops on the lined baking sheet. Cut the apple into slices and arrange 3 slices on each cutlet. Scatter over the oregano and then brush with melted butter. Roast for 20 minutes, until the pork is cooked through and tender and the apple is golden. Remove from the heat and leave to rest for a couple of minutes. To serve, arrange the pork cutlets with roasted apple on warmed serving plates with the jacket potatoes. Have a bowl of steamed greens to hand around separately