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Japanese Style Curry with Pork and Root Veg

Daylight hours are becoming increasingly scarce a commodity with the dark nights of winter looming... It got me thinking about the adage, " The days are long but the years are short" by Gretchen Rubin The Happiness Project.
Japanese Style Curry with Pork and Root Veg

Though the days often stretch by in a tedium of arduous repetition and a multitude of seemingly thankless tasks, this time as we know it is gone so soon. These small tasks of spellings, homework and dirty games kit will be consigned to a distant memory before I know it and I am certain I will truly miss them.

This simple pot of warming curry can be adapted to use whatever meat you have to hand - I used lean pork leg here but it works just as well with chicken breast/ thighs, beef or even just vegetables for a meat-free dish. Likewise, though I have used carrots, squash and sweet potato, an array of other veg could be used instead (just adjust cooking times accordingly). Serve with plenty of white rice or cauliflower rice to soak up the sauce.

Japanese Style Curry with Pork and Root Veg
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free, Nut-free
Serves 4

500g pork (or chicken) trimmed and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 medium sweet potato (250g), peeled and cut into approx 2cm chunks
250g (approx 1.5 cup) butternut squash, peeled and cut into approx 2cm chunks
2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped on the diagonal
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 medium eating apple, peeled and grated
3/4 cup edamame beans or peas
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup (250ml) tomato passata
1.5 cup (375ml) chicken stock (or pork/ veg stock)
3 tbsp Japanese curry powder
2 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp GF fish sauce
1 tbsp arrowroot or cornflour + 1tbsp water to make a slurry
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat coconut oil in a heavy-based, lidded casserole type pan over medium to high heat.
2. Fry onion for a few minutes, stirring to prevent sticking, until golden and fragrant.
3. Add meat and continue to stir-fry for another few minutes until golden on edges.
4. Add curry powder, ginger and garlic - stir-fry for another minute.
5. Add tomato passata, tamari, balsamic and fish sauce - stir to combine.
6. Add stock, sweet potato, carrots, squash and apple. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
7. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cover (with a small vent in lid) - cook for approx 30mins (or until all vegetables are tender and meat cooked through).
8. Increase heat slightly to a gently boil. Add edamame beans or peas.
9. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
10. Stir in slurry to thicken sauce. Allow to bubble for a few minutes before removing from heat. Serve with rice or cauliflower rice.