Pork in tomato sauce is a budget-friendly, one-pot meal that’s really easy to make. You’ll only need a handful of ingredients. Most of which are probably already in your pantry.
This delicious comfort food is what my mother (as well as many other moms in Greece) will put together when busy yet still wanting a homemade dinner to serve the family. In other words, it’s one of those savior dishes that have all the flavor of a laboring meal, but with minimal effort!
When we were little, we used to call this dish pork with potatoes bloom. Because of them being dipped and cooked in the sauce (bloom being the sound of dipping).
Traditionally, this dish is made simply with pork, onion, garlic, potatoes, tomato paste, bay leaves, and allspice. Personally though, I always like to add some peppers to brighten things up a bit. I love the flavor they give to this quick stew.
And that’s one of the best things about this dish. You can add any vegetable you like to it! Want to add some carrots or zucchini? Or even broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, cabbage? Go ahead! Just cut it the same size as the potatoes, only a little bit smaller, and add it to the pot at the same time you add the potatoes.
How To Make Pork In Tomato Sauce
First, sear and brown the meat all over. The better you do this, the more flavorful your stew will be. The browning of the meat is a crucial flavor-factor in this recipe. And to achieve this, make sure you let the meat sear well on one side before flipping it to its other side.
Then add the onion and garlic and cook for a bit until they soften. Pour in the wine and spices, and once the wine evaporates completely, add the tomato paste. Cook along with the paste for 2-3 minutes more, while you stir and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. When you cook the tomato paste this way, you reduce its acidity, and you also enhance its color giving it a richer deep red. That’s also why we always use double-concentrated tomato paste in Greece. To give sauces and stews a rich color + flavor.
And then you cover the meat with water and simmer until it feels tender enough when you prick it with a knife. You may then add the potatoes and peppers cut in the same fashion as the meat and cook until they get really soft and tender as well.
Meat Part To Use For This Pork Stew?
You can use either neck, picnic, or shoulder. It just has to be boneless and cut into cubes for stewing at a size of 5-6 cm, about 2-inch. My preferred meat part for making this stew is neck, as it’s usually more tender than the other two. But if you like lean meat then go for the other two.
Pork In Tomato Sauce With Potatoes And Peppers
- 750 grams / 1 lb +10 oz pork neck or picnic or shoulder cut boneless cut into cubes (about 5-6 cm)
- 3 medium-sized potatoes peeled
- 3 small green bell peppers
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 60 ml red wine
- 3 loaded tablespoons double concentrated tomato paste
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon allspice (whole not ground)
- olive oil
- Heat a good splash of olive oil in a medium-sized cooking pot over high heat.
- Sear and brown the meat on all sides. Then reduce heat to medium and add the onion and garlic.
- Cook for a minute or two until they soften a bit and then pour in the wine. Add the bay leaves and allspice. Cook, stirring occasionally until all of the wine evaporates completely. Season with kosher salt and ground pepper.
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes more while scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon so the paste won't stick. Note: Cooking the tomato paste for a few minutes before adding any water helps reduce its acidity a bit and also gives a darker, richer red color.
- Pour in enough water to cover the meat. Then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer covered for about 40-45 minutes. At this point, the meat should feel tender enough when you prick it with a knife. If not, simmer a bit more.
- Cut the potatoes into cubes about the same size as the meat. Cut the peppers into small squares, a bit smaller in size the that of the meat and of the potatoes.
- Add the potatoes and peppers to the pot and taste the sauce to see if it needs any additional salt. The sauce in the pot should be enough to partly cover the meat when you add the potatoes. Otherwise, add a bit of water if needed.
- Put the lid back on and simmer for another 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked and the sauce has thickened sufficiently. Keep in mind that the potatoes will thicken the sauce even more while the food cools down.
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