Pork afritada, another Filipino recipe, is a tomato-based dish.
It’s cooked with carrots, potatoes and bell peppers, like many of our tomato-based foods. With that, pork afritada has a lot of similarities with the menudo, mechado, and even the kaldereta. There are bits of differences in flavor and ingredients; but the manner of cooking, the same.
Afritada may also be cooked with chicken (chicken afritada). The ingredients are exactly the same. With chicken though, cooking time is a bit faster. If you have chicken instead of pork at home. You can follow the same recipe. Only, cut the frying of the meat by about 10 minutes.
Now, here’s how I cook my pork afritada recipe.
- 1 kg Pork shoulders cut into chunks
- 200 g Pork liver at least, cut into cubes
- 1 bulb Garlic crushed and chopped
- 12 pcs Onions cut
- 12 pcs Tomatoes cut
- 1 whole Carrots cubed
- 1 whole Potatoes cubed
- ½ Bell peppers at least, cut
- ⅓ cup Tomato sauce
- 1 cup Water
- 1-2 tbsp Fish sauce
- Salt and pepper to season
- 3-4 tbsp Cooking oil
- Put oil in a heated pan.
- Saute the garlic under medium heat.
- When the garlic turns golden, put in the onions.
- When the onions sweat and wilt, put in the pork.
- Cook the pork for 20-30 minutes. Season the pork with 1 tbsp fish sauce.
- Put in the tomatoes. Stir well.
- Add in the pork liver. Stir for 2-3 minutes.
- Just when the liver changes color, put in the water and the tomato sauce.
- Add in the carrots and potatoes.
- Lower the heat.
- Cover the pan. Let it simmer for 20 minutes to allow the meat to tenderize.
- Stir occasionally (every 10 minutes, or so) to prevent burning the bottom of the pan.
- When the meat is tender enough, season with additional fish sauce, salt and pepper.
- Add in the bell peppers.
- Turn off after 3-5 minutes.
- Serve with hot rice.
Tips and Tricks
Cooking Tips for a Stellar Pork Afritada
Before we jump into the nitty-gritty, let me share a few personal tricks I’ve learned over the years. These tips will elevate your Pork Afritada from good to great!
Choose the Right Cut
The choice of pork is crucial. While some prefer pork belly for its fat content, which adds flavor, others opt for pork shoulder due to its leaner nature. My personal favorite? Pork shoulder. It has just the right amount of fat to keep the dish moist without being overly greasy.
Don’t rush the sautéing process. Cooking the onions until they’re translucent brings out their natural sweetness, which balances the tanginess of the tomato sauce. And when it comes to garlic, make sure it’s golden but not burnt – burnt garlic can turn your stew bitter.
Simmer to Perfection
Patience is key when simmering your Afritada. A slow and low cook will tenderize the pork, allowing it to absorb all the wonderful flavors. Trust me, the wait is worth it.
FAQs About Pork Afritada
Can I Use Other Meats?
Absolutely! Chicken Afritada is another popular variant. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try beef or even seafood?
How Spicy Should It Be?
Pork Afritada isn’t traditionally spicy, but hey, it’s your kitchen! Feel free to add a kick with some chili peppers if that’s what you like.
Can I Make It Ahead of Time?
Yes, and you should! Like many stews, Pork Afritada tastes even better the next day after the flavors have had time to meld together in the fridge.
Serving Your Pork Afritada
Now, let’s talk about serving this delightful dish. Pork Afritada and rice are like Batman and Robin – they just belong together. A scoop of steamed white rice soaks up the sauce beautifully, making every bite a symphony of flavors. But don’t stop there; a side of crusty bread to mop up the remaining sauce is also divine. For a healthier twist, serve it with brown rice or Almond And Cranberry Quinoa. And if you’re looking to impress, garnish with some chopped parsley or green onions for a pop of color and freshness.
Personal Touches and Final Thoughts
I love adding a bit of cheese to my Pork Afritada. It might sound unconventional, but a sprinkle of grated cheddar melts into the sauce and adds a creamy dimension that’s just irresistible. Remember, cooking is an art, and Pork Afritada is your canvas. Don’t be afraid to put your spin on it. Maybe you’ll discover the next big twist on this classic dish! So there you have it, folks – your guide to making the most out of your Pork Afritada recipe.
With these tips, FAQs, and serving suggestions, you’re well on your way to creating a meal that’ll warm the soul and tickle the taste buds. Happy cooking, and enjoy the rich flavors of the Philippines right at your dining table!