There is a recipe called chicken, tomatoes and pineapple stew in the archive, my version of a dish cooked by my friend Melissa. This is the pork version of that dish. But there is more than just a simple substitution of pork for chicken. Having cooked this dish so many times (the chicken version is a favorite of my mother-in-law so you can just bet that she’s going to request that I cook the chicken version again for the Christmas or New Year family reunion), I have refined and improved it so that the saltiness, tanginess and sweetness intersect so subtly that one can’t decide which is the more dominant flavor.
In a nutshell, this is a dish of pork cubes marinated overnight in steak sauce then stewed the next day. Fresh pineapple tidbits and kalamansi or lemon juice are thrown in and the result is amazingly delicious.
- 1 kilogram boneless pork shoulder
- 1/2 cup bottled steak sauce*
- 1/4 cup butter
- 6 cloves garlic
- 3 onions
- 10 tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- juice of 12 kalamansi or juice of 1 and ½ lemons
- 1 and 1/2 cups fresh pineapple tidbits
Cut the pork into two-inch cubes. Place in a glass bowl, pour in the steak sauce and mix well, working the sauce into the meat. Cover the bowl with cling film and allow to marinate overnight in the fridge.
Crush and peel the garlic.
Peel and roughly chop the onions. Roughly chop the tomatoes as well.
Place the pork and marinade in a large saucepan and let the meat boil in the marinade and its own juices, stirring occasionally.
In another pan, heat the butter. Saute the garlic and onions until fragrant, about two minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, until they start to soften.
Pour the sautéed mixture into the pan with the pork. Stir well. Season with a little salt and lots of freshly ground pepper. Add the bay leaf. Cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer for an hour to an hour and a half, or until the pork is tender.
THERE IS NO NEED TO ADD WATER. The onions and tomatoes contain enough liquid to cook the pork. Just keep the pan snugly covered and ignore any urge to open and peek to see how the stew is doing. It'll do fine.
Add the kalamansi juice and pineapple tidbits. Simmer for another ten minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if necessary. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaf and let sit for another ten to 15 minutes before serving.
*I have used Lea & Perrins, A1, Knorr liquid seasoning, and a combination of Kecap Manis and Kikkoman, and THEY ALL WORK. Resulting flavors of the cooked dish vary though.