Similar to Filipino menudo, paprika and cranberry pork stew ditches the potatoes, peas, carrots, raisins and most of the tomato sauce. Instead, there’s a copious amount of smoked paprika, dried cranberries, eggplants and sweet potatoes.
What’s the idea? Nothing, really. I do love menudo but we didn’t have raisins. However, there was a pack of cranberries that I didn’t use when I roasted a whole turkey last month.
It turns out that cranberries make a better stew than raisins because instead of monotonous sweetness, they impart a tanginess that balances the flavors better. To make sure that the stew won’t be too tangy though, I used a lot less tomatoes and opted for smoked paprika for flavor and color.
- 500 grams pork belly
- 2 tablespoons olive oil not extra virgin
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
- 2 tomatoes cut into wedges
- 2 pinches dried oregano
- 1 bell pepper finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce
- 2 cups bone broth
- 100 grams dried cranberries
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 eggplant cubed
- 1 sweet potato peeled and cubed
- 1/2 cup sweet peas
- Cut the pork into one-inch cubes.
- Heat the olive oil in a pot.
- Lightly brown the pork cubes in the hot oil.
- Add the garlic, onion, tomatoes, oregano, bell pepper, bay leaf and paprika. Cook, stirring, often, until the vegetables start to soften.
- Pour in the tomato sauce and bone broth.
- Stir in the cranberries.
- Bring to the boil, cover the pot, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Taste the sauce. Add just enough salt and pepper to balance the flavors. How much salt depends on how salty the bone broth is. A quarter teaspoon of pepper should be enough unless you like the flavor of pepper to really stand out (I don't!), in which case, you are welcome to use more than a quarter teaspoon.
- Cover the pan and continue simmering the pork for another 15 to 20 minutes. At this point, the sauce should have reduced considerably.
- Add the eggplant, sweet potato cubes and peas. Stir. Simmer the stew, covered, for another seven to 10 minutes.
- Give the sauce one last taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed, before serving.
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