Pork-and-Pineapple Coconut Curry


  • 2 pounds well-trimmed boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup Thai red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • One 1 1/2-inch piece of fresh galangal or ginger, peeled
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, inner bulbs only, halved and crushed with a rolling pin
  • 1 teaspoon Thai shrimp paste or 2 minced oil-packed anchovies
  • 5 ounces Thai eggplants, cut into wedges, or 1 small eggplant, cut into 1-inch dice (2 cups)
  • 3 Thai chiles, seeded and minced
  • 8 ounces fresh pineapple, cut into 1/2-inch chunks (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1/2 basil leaves


  1. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, cover the pork chunks with 1 inch of cold water (about 12 cups). Add the salt and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer until the pork is tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a bowl. Set aside 2 cups of the pork stock; reserve the remaining pork stock for another use.
  2. Wipe out the casserole. Add 1 cup of the coconut milk and simmer over moderate heat until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir in the curry paste and peanut butter and cook for 1 minute more. Add the remaining 1 cup of coconut milk and the reserved 2 cups of pork stock along with the sweet potato, galangal, lemongrass and shrimp paste. Cover partially and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Cook until the sweet potato is almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add the eggplant and simmer until just tender, about 10 minutes. 
  3. Add the pork and chiles to the casserole and simmer over moderate heat until the pork is heated through and the vegetables are tender, 10 minutes. Discard the galangal and lemongrass. Stir in the pineapple and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil. Serve with steamed white rice.


The pork can be cooked 3 days ahead and refrigerated in the stock.