There was an old pork afritada recipe in the archive, circa 2004, but the photo was bad and the recipe was too ordinary. Enter my new pork afritada recipe with a better cooking procedure.
What is afritada? It is one of the many tomato-based stews that developed in Filipino cuisine as a result of centuries of Spanish colonization. How many tomato-based stews are there in Filipino cuisine, anyway? Well, there’s afritada which is not the same as menudo (which has raisins). Afritada and menudo are different from the spicy kaldereta which is traditionally cooked with goat meat or beef, and the sauce thickened with pureed liver. There’s also mechado which has a slab of beef at the center of which, a strip of fat is inserted.
Afritada itself has variants—with pork, with chicken or with both pork and chicken. The vegetables, however, are almost always the same—potatoes, carrots, bell peppers and sweet peas.
In this pork afritada recipe, the saltiness is provided by patis (fish sauce) and a little soy sauce for deeper and richer flavors.
- 500 grams pork belly
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 150 grams garlicky sausages (Vigan longganiza is especially good), sliced into rings
- ⅓ cup finely chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig oregano, stripped
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- patis (fish sauce), to taste
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into wedges
- 2 bell peppers, diced
- ⅓ cup sweet peas
- Cut the pork belly into two-inch pieces.
- Heat the cooking oil in a pan. Over high heat, brown the pork pieces in the hot oil.
- Lower the heat to medium. Add the sliced sausages, chopped onion, minced garlic, bay leaf and oregano. Season with fish sauce and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onion bits soften.
- Pour in the chopped tomatoes and soy sauce. Stir. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes or until the pork is tender. If the sauce dries out before the pork is done, add bone broth, half a cup at a time.
- Add the potato and carrot wedges along with the bell peppers. Stir. Cover the pan and simmer for another 15 minutes. Taste the sauce (the vegetables will soak up the saltiness) and adjust the seasonings.
- Stir in the bell peppers and green peas. Simmer for another five minutes.
- The pork afritada is ready to serve at this point. If, however, you have the patience, cool the stew and refrigerate overnight. Pork afritada, as with most stews, taste better after reheating.