Slow roasted Massaman curried pork shoulder

"Winter is the season for slowing down. Sometimes this means taking more time to slow-roast your favourite larger cut of meat to fall-apart perfection, creating a feast of smells in your kitchen that anticipates the essence of shared comfort.

If you are not familiar with a Massaman curry, it’s a mild, rich and fragrant Thai curry, traditionally made with chicken or beef but also sometimes with pork and even lamb (works great with lamb knuckles). A large pork shoulder is an economical, yet indulgent cut that will feed a crowd. This easy, flavourful dish takes minimal prep time or effort, then just needs 6-7 hours in the oven, slowly doing its magic while you chill with friends or loved ones, enjoying a glass of Pierneef Syrah Viognier. This wine pairs beautifully with the rich, mild curry. Serve with jasmine rice rice and your choice of sambals - some roasted peanuts are also a traditional accompaniment and provides delicious crunchy texture." Ilse van der Merwe (

For the Massaman pork shoulder: (serves 6)

3-4 garlic cloves, peeled & finely grated

a large knob of ginger, peeled & finely grated

100 g Massaman curry paste (Note: Find Massaman curry paste in the spice isle at supermarkets or delis that specialise in exotic spice mixes.)

1 can coconut milk

500 ml chicken stock

1 onion, peeled & sliced

2,5-3 kg whole pork shoulder on the bone

salt & pepper, to taste

1 cinnamon stick

2 whole star anise

To serve:

fresh coriander leaves

birds eye chilli (optional)

roasted salted peanuts

cooked jasmine rice

tomato, cucumber & coriander sambal


Preheat the oven to 160 C. In a mixing bowl, add the garlic, ginger, curry paste, coconut milk and stock. Stir with a wire whisk until blended.

Use a sharp knife to remove the rind on top of the shoulder, leaving a very thin layer of fat here and there. Season with salt & pepper on both sides. In a large deep roaster, arrange the onions all over, then place the shoulder with upside down (boney side up) on top of the onions. Pour the sauce mixture all over and around the meat, then cover tightly with foil and roast for 3 hours. Remove from the oven, then use tongs to carefully turn the shoulder over. Roast for another 3 hours or until very tender. Remove from the oven and carefully pour most (but not all) of the sauce into a saucepan. Turn the oven’s heat up to 200 and remove the foil, then roast for another 30 minutes until well browned on top while you reduce the sauce on stovetop: bring the saucepan to a rolling boil and cook until reduced by a ⅓, or to your liking (taste often to make sure you don’t reduce it too far). When the meat is brown and the curry sauce is ready, pour the sauce back into the pan and shred the meat into chunky pieces before serving hot. Scatter with coriander (and optionally chilli, if you like it hot), and serve with rice and sambals.

Note: If your sauce is perfectly tasty but still too thin for your liking, thicken it slightly with a little old-school flour slurry of your choice. This way you’ll have more sauce in volume.

Wine pairing: La Motte's 2018 Pierneef Syrah Viognier is made from grapes grown in the cool climate of the Cape South Coast. The Syrah's complexity lives up to the curry while the Viognier complements with its floral nuances. The wine style is cool and elegant and a perfect balance to the dish. Enjoy!