This is the perfect curry for when the evenings start getting colder in September or for when you’ve got friends round on a Friday or Saturday night – why not get them round for an Organic September feast?!

It can be cooked a day or two in advance and is often better for it. It freezes well too, so you might like to make a big batch to stock up the freezer with a few meals.

River Cottage HQ, found on the Devon and Dorset border, is home to an award-winning Cookery School, unique dining experiences and memorable events. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage has given millions of TV viewers a taste for great cooking since 1998, when Hugh first brought his famous food ethos to Channel 4. Their hard-hitting campaigns have changed the eating habits of a nation and improved the welfare and sustainability of animals and fish.

Gill Meller has been part of the River Cottage team for almost ten years. Working closely with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Gill has been a major part of all of the activities at River Cottage including sourcing the ethically-produced and sustainable food, creating the ever changing menus and developing the successful cookery school at Park farm. He appears regularly on the series cooking alongside Hugh, contributes to the cookbooks and teaches at the River Cottage Cookery School.

Serves 6

  • 750g organic lean shoulder or leg of pork
  • 750g organic pumpkin (or butternut squash)
  • 2 tbsp lard or oil
  • 1 large organic onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 200ml organic coconut milk
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the curry paste
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 3 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tsp coriander seeds
  • 10 cardamom pods, seeds extracted
  • 50g fresh root ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp salt

Start by making the curry paste. Using a pestle and mortar, grind the cloves, star anise, peppercorns and the cumin, coriander and cardamom seeds together to a fairly fine texture.

Peel and roughly chop the ginger, garlic and onion, then put into a blender with the ground spices, curry powder and salt.

Blitz, adding just enough water to form a purée. Cut the pork into 3–4cm cubes. Peel and deseed the pumpkin and cut into large cubes; set aside.

Heat the lard or oil in a large, wide pan. Season the pork with salt and pepper, add to the pan and cook until well browned. Turn down the heat a little and add the curry paste. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly to ensure the spices don’t burn.

Add the onion to the pan and cook for a few minutes until softened, then add the pumpkin and cook for a further 5 minutes. Pour in enough water to just cover the pork and pumpkin. Put the lid or the pan and simmer over a low heat for 20–30 minutes until the pork is tender.

Stir in the coconut milk and heat through. Adjust the seasoning if necessary, then stir through the chopped coriander. Finish with a good squeeze of lime.

To finish
  • A good handful of coriander, leaves only, roughly chopped
  • A generous squeeze of lime juice
The Soil Association’s Organic September is the biggest nationwide celebration of all things organic! With more people looking for healthy, ethical and local food, Organic September makes it even easier to eat and live well – with inspiring tips and recipes using good ingredients. Swapping to organic food has huge benefits for people, animal welfare and the environment.

This recipe is taken from River Cottage Handbook No 14, Pigs & Pork, published by Bloomsbury.