Pork Afritada

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I seldom get requests from readers about a recipe. Gilda has tried my pakbet, liked it and requested for afritada. Just what I needed, an idea of what to cook next. Oh yeah I do run out of ideas especially when I’m lazy to browse through the internet.

As a kid, afritada (a stew normally cooked with tomato sauce) is not a common dish in our dinner table as we are a family not so fond of tomato sauce. I learned how to cook the dish from my HS home economics book and cooked it devoid of tomato sauce. A generous amount of real tomatoes were used instead (recipe to be posted here soon). Below is my tomato sauce-based pork afritada. Instead of browning the meat before stewing, I simmer the pork first until tender before browning and adding the spices.

1/2 kilo pork cut into chunks
3 tbsp of minced garlic
1 big onion, sliced
3 pieces tomatoes, chopped
2 pcs of potatoes, cut into quarters
1 small red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 small green bell pepper, sliced into small squares
1 small carrot, cut into halves and sliced
1/2 cup tomato paste (or tomato sauce)
2 tbsp of soy sauce
2 pcs. of bay leaves
peppercorns, crushed
(my missing ingredient: green peas)

Add the pork to a pot of boiling water and simmer for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle salt and continue simmering until tender. Set aside.

Heat oil in a pan. Saute garlic until golden brown. Add in the pork and fry until brownish. Stir in the onions and tomatoes and saute until the tomatoes are mashed. Pour in the reserved stock and tomato paste, and bring to boil. Stir in salt, peppercorns, bay leaves and soy sauce, and simmer for another minute. Add the potatoes and carrots and cook until done. Throw in the red and green peppers and cook for another couple of minutes. Serve hot.

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

7 thoughts on “Pork Afritada

  1. Hi Mae and Ash! Thanks for visiting!

    Ash, simmer the meat in 4-5 cups of water and add more if the meat is not tender enough. You may also add more water when necessary to the reserved stock when mixed with tomato paste and potatoes depending on how much sauce you want and if the potatoes are not yet cooked as desired.

  2. Thanks for posting your recipe. Your afritada in the picture looks good… Mine has the consistency of menudo, but I did add tomato sauce cuz another recipe I was looking at had 4 oz. and I already opened the can. hahaha

    Post more homemade recipes.

    I’ll try again…

  3. Eh!

    I do mine a little different though. I use Clarified Chicken Stock. I blanch the pork until tender and mix the cooked pork with the Chicken stock after. A seperate tomato sauce (made from crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, garlic, prosciutto, mirepoix, spices & chicken stock) can be prepared and mixed in with the stew. Continue seasoning. :cool:

    As for the veggies: I stir fry the peppers in EVO & dump them in the stew later on to prevent overcooking. Reduce a cup of white wine & mix that as well. The carrots & potatoes can also be cooked seperately. Adjust to taste. :!:

    Check out Chicken Cacciatore-similar procedure

  4. i love cooking. at first glance of your recipe i already know it’s a great one! still i printed your recipe to share it to my friends and relatives and of course for my recipe collection. I’ll cook it tonight for my family. thanks!

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