It takes me a little while to grasp that April is autumn rather than spring here. The drop in temperature this week makes the early mornings and evenings decidedly nippy. Salads and stir-fries are no longer substantial and makes me long for slow-cooked curries and stews.
With a curry in mind, it is a short stroll to the local butcher and I come home with a nice bit of pork. I have gone for neck fillet, also known as shoulder steak, with fat marbling though it which will keep moist and succulent. To my delight I discover a tin of young green jack fruit which was bought in Chinatown some months back and I had forgotten about it.
The young jack fruit, unlike when ripened, is quite bland and is often used in curries as a food staple. If you are using fresh young jack fruit it will need to be boiled prior to adding to the curry.
700g pork, cubed
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 large onions, quartered
3 garlic cloves
3 green chillies
120ml peanut oil
325g young green jack fruit, cut into chunks
Put the pork in a bowl and pour over fish sauce and mix well. Leave to marinate while preparing the curry paste.
Put the onions, garlic and green chillies in a pestle and mortar. Pound to a coarse paste. In a wok or saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion mixture and cook over moderate heat for 15-20 minutes. Keep a close eye and stir frequently to avoid burning the mixture.
Add the pork including any remaining fish sauce. Give it a quick stir then add the water. Cover and simmer for an hour. Check occasionally to make sure the water has not dried out. Add a little more if necessary.
In goes the jack fruit and continue to simmer for 30-45 minutes until all the liquid has reduced and the oil has separated from the gravy. Check for seasoning.
Cooking time: 1-2 hours