French Fridays with Dorie – Coconut Lemongrass Braised Pork

For today’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, I did a 180° from last week. While I improvised the steps for making the Cold Melon-Berry Soup, I followed every direction for the Coconut Lemongrass Braised Pork to a ‘T’. The only change I made in the process was to use the Dutch Oven to brown the pork and cook the rest of the dish and I will believe that one doesn’t count.

That was it.

Don’t believe for a minute that I didn’t think of many other modifications for this recipe. Fish sauce? Cook the braise on the stove top? More curry powder and less turmeric? Add onions, garlic, and ginger? Double the lemongrass? Cayenne or crushed red pepper? Brown sugar?  Cooking the vegetables in the broth?

Turmeric, Curry Powder, Coriander, Black Peppercorns, Cardamom and Lemon Rind

Browned pork chunks ready to be braised

Had I gone through with them, though, I think I would have missed out on a delicate curry sauce. I love all kinds of curries – Thai, Indian, Caribbean – and know there’s a lot for me to learn about them. Thank you Dorie for teaching me restraint. I think we can add French to that mix (after doubling the lemongrass).

French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking group, where home cooks from all over the world share their experiences cooking from Dorie Greenspan’s award winning cookbook Around My French Table.

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Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

21 Responses to “French Fridays with Dorie – Coconut Lemongrass Braised Pork”

  1. July 23, 2011 at 6:34 am #

    Ha – too funny. I don’t think there is any recipe that I could make with out at least changing one or two or three or four things…
    Have a great weekend!

  2. July 23, 2011 at 8:16 am #

    Even without the recipe I think i can make a good attempt at this. It has so many ingredients I enjoy.I’ve never met a recipe I didn’t modify (except for baking of course)..

  3. July 23, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    I loved this dish so much and I thought it was different to cook the vegetables separately from the meat, but I also think they held up much better because they didn’t cook together. The sauce we just couldn’t get enough of! I’m glad you made this and enjoyed it!

  4. July 23, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    Great job! I love the picture of your spices.

  5. July 23, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    Excellent photos!!! Glad you enjoyed~

  6. July 23, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

    How bright and vibrant! And, I love the photo of the spices.

  7. July 23, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    Your curry looks great, nicely browned pork and all! 🙂 I like how the onion looks in your last photo too.

  8. July 23, 2011 at 6:20 pm #

    You’ve got me thinking, Adriana… I felt disappointed that this recipe wasn’t quite Thai or Indian, but you make an excellent point that it was meant to be a delicate curry sauce, not what my brain thought it should be. I’m going to give this another try when things cool down. Global weather is so backwards when it’s hotter in New England than in Puerto Rico. I guess we’ll know there’s real trouble when that happens in December… Have a great week!

  9. cakelawakelaw
    July 24, 2011 at 8:43 am #

    You made this stew look so pretty – I just threw it together on a plate and it looks like a kid dolloped some on at a school cafeteria. Great job!

  10. July 24, 2011 at 3:11 pm #

    Well, sometimes you have to follow the rules before you can break them right? It’s a good lesson in restraint, because I always want to make things spicier and I know that sometimes that means missing out on a more subtle experience.

  11. July 24, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    Well, I broke enough “rules” for both of us. I did enjoy the coconut and lemony flavors. One of my sons-in-law kept coming here to eat until he wiped this dish out…totally. And he is the one who will never eat leftovers…but he all these. I made a large portion…enough for about 20 people as a main dish, and he must have eaten at least 15. So, I’ll be making this again, but I think about November will be a better idea.

  12. July 24, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

    mmmm your stew looks so pretty! The photo with all the spices is yummy!

  13. July 25, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    Ahh I just want to eat your screen!!

  14. July 25, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    Looks beautiful! I really want to love this one…I think it is worth a few tweaks (and doubling the lemongrass).

  15. July 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    Your pictures are gorgeous, especially the beautiful one of the gathered spices and lemon. It looks so casual…but maybe there was a little staging?

    • July 26, 2011 at 11:28 am #

      There was a little staging indeed… that’s the best part about making FFwD recipes with enough time (and daylight!).

  16. Teresa
    July 25, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    I agree with Marie – I love all your photos and especially the shot of the spices. My mother’s rule, which I (usually) try to follow, is make it as written the first time, then improvise after. In this case, I felt rewarded by following the recipe, as best I could with what I had on hand. It’s a nice, light curry that allows the flavours of all the ingredients to work together.

  17. July 25, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

    Love your spices photo!

  18. July 25, 2011 at 11:23 pm #

    Fish sauce! That might be a good idea for next time 🙂 I was eyeing the sriracha “Red Rooster” bottle as well, but I also pulled back on the improvisation brakes. Agree, it was perfect and delicate as is.

  19. July 27, 2011 at 4:21 am #

    Well, I didn’t do much of a switch up to this recipe either, and like you, I’m glad I didn’t. Love that close-up shot of your spices….so vibrant!

  20. July 28, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    This isn’t helping.

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