Pulled Pork Curry with Sweet Potatoes

The Country Boy is not terribly picky, but there are a few things that he hates that I love, two of which are coconut milk and chile. And while he’s very sweet in saying that there’s no need for me to cater to his tastes, I always find it depressing to be eating two different meals at the same table, and so I tend to stick to things he likes for dinner, reserving my taste for heat and for the tropics for lunchtime.

That said, there are a handful of recipes that are a little bit too involved to be great options for midday; those, I reserve for the weekends he’s out of town. Since those weekends are rare, it took me months to actually find a day I could cook up this curry, which is inspired by a recipe inspired by rogan josh that is now so far removed from the original lamb dish that I have a hard time calling it rogan josh at all.

The recipe I based this off of actually comes from a cookbook I love called Well-Fed Weeknights. It’s a paleo book with a host of different base recipes on which you can riff (potato bowls, salad bars, stir fries), as well as some internationally-inspired dishes like the original rogan josh-ish curry that became the inspiration for this dish.

The cookbook recipe is intended to be made with ground lamb (and to be ready to go in under 45 minutes), but ever since I acquired a Le Creuset, I have a very hard time making any stewed dish that isn’t also a braise. Pork shoulder, which ticks that box and is also extremely cheap here in France, seemed like the perfect candidate.


I know that pork curries are far from traditional in India; if the idea offends you, this would be just as delicious with lamb, beef, or even chicken (though you’ll have to adjust the cooking times). The long braise infuses your house with delicious spicy smells, and the sweet potatoes play off the creamy curry (with just the right kick!) so well that this dish’s admitted lack of authenticity doesn’t bother me at all.

Pork Shoulder Curry with Sweet Potatoes (serves 6)

2 tablespoons ghee
1 4-pound pork shoulder
2 medium onions, halved and peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 cardamom pod
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup canned coconut milk
2 cups water
salt, to taste

3 large sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons ghee
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
salt, to taste

Heat the ghee in a Dutch oven. Season the pork shoulder on all sides with salt, and sear on all sides so that it’s deeply browned and caramelized. Remove from the pot and add the onion halves. Cook until caramelized on both sides, then return the pork shoulder to the pot and add the garlic cloves. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the garlic is slightly toasted and aromatic, and then add all of the spices. Cook for 1 minute, until aromatic, then add the tomato paste, coconut milk, and water.

Stir well to bring up the fond, and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 2-3 hours, until the pork can be easily pulled apart with two forks.

Remove the pork from the pot, remove the lid, and cook the sauce until it has reduced by half.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cube the sweet potatoes and toss in the ghee. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until golden, then season with the spices, tossing well to coat.

Use an immersion blender to purée everything together, taste for seasoning, and add the pulled pork back to the pot. Reduce more if needed, then serve accompanied by the sweet potatoes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *