Braised Pork with Fuyu Persimmon
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 cups water
- 4 plum tomatoes (3/4 pounds total), peeled (see cooks' note, below) and chopped, or 1 (14- to 16-oz) can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds firm-ripe Fuyu persimmons, peeled, seeded if necessary, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
- 1/2 cup chopped scallion greens
- Accompaniment: cooked white rice
Put oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 350°F.
Pat pork dry with paper towels, then sprinkle with salt. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wide 6-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown pork in 3 batches, turning, about 5 minutes per batch, transferring to a bowl as browned. (Add more oil to pot as needed between batches.)
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from pot. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add pork with any juices accumulated in bowl, water, and tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
Cover pot, then transfer to oven and braise pork until very tender, about 1 3/4 hours.
Scatter persimmons over pork and braise in oven, partially covered, 10 minutes more. Stir in scallion greens and salt and pepper to taste.