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.
Paprika and Cranberry Pork Stew
- 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.