Pork Vindaloo in a Slow Cooker

Even though this pork vindaloo recipe looks like there’s a lot of stuff, it’s just a matter of tossing spices in a blender and then putting everything in a slow cooker. Serves 4-6:

Pork Vindaloo in a Slow Cooker

  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger (about a 2-inch length of peeled ginger)
  • 1 tablespoon black or brown mustard seeds
  • 5 whole cloves
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • Kosher salt
  • 5 green cardamom pods or 1/4 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cinnamon stick about 3” long
  • 2 packed tablespoons light brown sugar, plus more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon kashmiri chile powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne, or to taste (optional)
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless pork shoulder, cut into 2- to 3-inch chunks
  • Cooked basmati rice, for serving

Combine the onion, garlic, ginger, mustard seeds, cloves, peppercorns and 2 1/2 teaspoons salt in a blender. Using the flat side of a chef’s knife, firmly press the cardamom pods so that they crack open. Put the seeds from each pod in the blender and discard the pods. (This yields about a heaping 1/4 teaspoon of seeds.) Pour the vinegar into the blender. Blend, first on low until everything is combined, then on high, until the mixture is fully puréed and the whole spices are crushed, 30 seconds to 3 minutes depending on your blender. (You will see flecks of spices, but everything should be at least coarsely ground.)

Pour the puréed mixture into a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker. Stir in the cinnamon stick, sugar, cumin, turmeric, chile powder and cayenne. Add the pork and stir to evenly combine. Cover and cook on high until the flavors have blended, the oniony taste is no longer sharp, and the pork is very tender, about 5 hours.

Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Taste and add more salt or sugar if you like before serving with warmed rice. The sauce will be rich and a little soupy. If you prefer a thicker sauce, remove the pork from the slow cooker with a slotted spoon and put it in a serving dish. Pour the sauce into a saucepan (or use the sauté function on an Instant Pot) and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Pour the reduced sauce over the pork, serve with warm rice and enjoy!

My Verdict:

First the good news—this was delicious! Spicy but not killer (and if you’re afraid, use less chili powder and no cayenne). We had a bunch of roasted garlic from some take out food, so I dumped them in the blender with about 3 big cloves and then added a couple of squirts of Lebanese Garlic Sauce that my brother gave me for Christmas, so there was plenty of garlic.

The bad news? I did it in my Instant Pot and the next batch of yogurt tasted like pork vindaloo—good for dinner, not so much for breakfast.

I’ll definitely be making this again, just have to figure out how to get the smell out of the Instant Pot. Any ideas?



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