My newest Thai-influenced recipe has my family asking for more. Braise some pork shoulder or country
style ribs in a red wine vinegar and honey sauce with some Thai curry paste, bake it all with some watermelon
cubes and you have a real winner.
For the pork steaks:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4-8 pounds Boston Butt (pork shoulder) cut into
1 ½ inch steaks. You should end up with 4-5 steaks
or so. May substitute country style pork ribs which
are cut from the end of the loin rather than the shoulder.
Salt to taste
For the braising liquid, whisk together:
⅔ cup red wine vinegar
⅓ cup honey
1-3 tablespoons red or Panang curry paste ( I use Maesri brand )
2 teaspoons fish sauce ( I use Three Crabs brand )
2-4 cups seedless watermelon, peeled and cut into 1 ½ inch cubes
You can get your supermarket meat department to cut a whole 7-9 pound bone-in Boston Butt into 6-8
steaks that are 1 ½ inch thick. As an alternative, country style pork ribs can be substituted.
Place the oil in a large frying pan or skillet on medium-high heat until a drop of water sizzles as it hits the
water. Salt the steaks and brown them well on two sides. The better the browning, the better the flavor. This
will take 5-10 minutes.
While the steaks are browning, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce except for the watermelon.
The curry paste can be quite spicy for some people. On the other hand, the long cooking time will cook out
some of the spiciness of the curry. So try this recipe with just one tablespoon until you know how much to use.
I am up to two full tablespoons and the results are not spicy at all. Next time I will add the full three
Remove the browned steaks to a dish for baking. Use the whisked sauce ingredients to deglaze the skillet
used for browning the steaks. Remove the skillet from heat and pour about half of the sauce into the pan. Let
it sizzle and then scrape up the browned bits still sticking to the pan.
Top the steaks with the watermelon cubes. Crowd the cubes onto the steaks since they will cook down
quite a bit and they do contribute a lot of flavor to this dish.
Then pour all the liquid from the skillet plus the half you reserved all over the watermelon and steaks sitting
in the baking dish.
Cover the dish well with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 ½ hours.
Remove the cover and bake for another 30 minutes.
All Boston Butts cook differently, depending on their fat marbling and general density, etc. Test to see that
the meat is fall-apart tender before taking it out of the oven.
Serve over rice, capturing the wonderful juices that have formed in the baking dish and enjoy!
Adapted from Vivian Howard’s A Chef’s Life TV show.
Braised Pork with Watermelon and
Thai Curry Sauce