Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Most Delicious Meat Cubes

Last week I got a killer deal on a nine pound pork shoulder.  When I came home from the store I picked three different recipes calling for pork shoulder, broke down the meat, and separated it all into different containers.  This recipe, for the Most Delicious Meat Cubes, was the first recipe on my list.  I've been cooking Madhur Jaffrey's recipes for almost six months now and this recipe has been on my to-do list the entire time.  After all, how can you resist a recipe called "The Most Delicious Meat Cubes"?

Let me just go ahead and say right now, these really are the most delicious meat cubes ever!  They are tender, succulent, crispy on the edges, and coated in all kinds of delicious flavor.  We were instantly sorry that we only reserved one pound of pork shoulder for this recipe and decided that next time, very soon, we will make this recipe and triple it.  

I really do encourage everyone to make these.  My husband, who can be a harsh critic, gave them a 10+.  He isn't the biggest fan of Indian cuisine, but he thought these were simply irresistible.  There really aren't any words that would do these little nuggets the justice they deserve.  Please make them and taste for yourself!

The Most Delicious Meat Cubes
Adapted from Quick & Easy Indian Cooking
by Madhur Jaffrey
Serves 1-2

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and very finely chopped
15 fresh or dried curry leaves, if available*
1 pound boned shoulder of lamb or pork, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 teaspoons store-bought garam masala*
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric*
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 fresh, hot green chile, finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 - 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

*Notes: I am unable to find curry leaves so I did not use them in this recipe.  I also held back on the amount of garam masala, using only about 1 teaspoon instead of the two called for.  And, finally, we do not care for turmeric so I omitted it all together.

Put the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot, put in the ginger, garlic, and curry leaves (if using).  Stir.  When the garlic starts to brown, put in the meat.  Stir once or twice and turn the heat to medium-low.  Now put in the garam masala, cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper, green chile, and salt.  Stir to mix.  Add 3/4 cup water and cover tightly.  Cook over low heat for about 50 minutes, opening the lid every so often to make sure you have enough liquid.  After 50 minutes, cook, uncovered, over high heat until all the liquid has gone and the meat has browned a bit.  Stir as you do this.  Then stir in lots of freshly ground black pepper and the lemon juice.  Serve over rice, Indian mashed potatoes, plain boiled potatoes, or with Indian breads. 
Theme: Potluck!

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