With all the wintry weather for the past two months, unusual for Vancouver -- a "hint" of snow witnessed just this morning! -- we thought it was time for a trip. So, we hitched a ride on FOODalogue's Culinary Tour.
We're going to Portugal!
We're no experts in Portuguese cuisine, but what we know and have tasted of the cuisine is so delicious that we knew we had to explore more of it. (Making peri-peri chicken is always a joy, as is caldo verde.)
We discovered PortugueseCooking.com, a site by Ana Patuleia Ortins, and found recipes for Wine and Garlic Marinated dishes. I consolidated two of those recipes and began making our dish.
To start, the marinade, of course.
In a bowl, I combined white wine, red wine vinegar, some cinnamon, cumin, allspice, bay leaves, salt, black pepper, and red chili flakes. I added the pork butt that I've cut into cubes and let them marinate overnight.
left: pork cubes marinating
right: out of the marinade
The next day, JS removed the pork from the marinade and dried the cubes.
The pork was browned, then the marinade went in. The mixture was brought to a boil, then simmered until the pork was tender.
We served it with "jag" (short for "jagacida", a Cape Verdean lima beans and rice dish) and some sautéed kale. The whole thing was brightened with a sprinkling of some hazelnut gremolata that I made for another dish.
My favourite part of the meal was the jagacida, mixed in with the kale. So my comments on that taste would have to wait until then.
To be honest, the pork stew was somewhat "unfamiliar" to me -- or rather, it smelled "unfamiliar." The consensus around our dinner table was that the aroma was almost a tad too overwhelming, too wine-y and too vinegar-y. Or maybe it's something else altogether. Unfortunately, it deterred some members of the family.
When one bites into the pork, though, the flavours of the marinade did not really penetrate through to the meat; they were more muted. The marinade-turned-sauce just provided an acidic counterpoint to the brown porkiness of the meat. The acidic highpoints and the background of smoky savouriness from the spices complemented the creamy, butteriness of the jagacida.
If anything, I would have liked this pork stew more if it was not too wine-y and vinegar-y. And, I can take more garlic. I love the combination of allspice, cinnamon, and cumin and would not be averse to playing with it more.
Not quite the knockout dish I was hoping for, but it did make for a good comforting meal.
[eatingclub] vancouver Portuguese meal
Vinho d'Alhos (Portuguese Wine and Garlic Marinated Pork)
Jag (Jagacida, Cape Verdean Beans and Rice)
Other Portuguese dishes
Caldo Verde (Portuguese Kale and Chorizo Soup)
Recipes from PortugueseCooking.com
(Wine and Garlic Marinated Pork)
adapted from recipes by Ana Patuleia Ortins (http://www.portuguesecooking.com/)
2 1/2 pounds pork butt, cut into cubes
1/2 cup white wine
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
4 kernels allspice
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
pinch red chili flakes (to taste)
Combine marinade ingredients together. Add pork. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator, or for 3 to 4 days.
When ready to cook, remove pork from the marinade. Pat dry. Set marinade aside.
Heat a pot and add oil. Brown pork cubes; you may need to work in batches. Once all the pork cubes are browned, place them and the marinade in the pot. Let boil, then turn the heat to low and let simmer until pork is tender, about 1 hour or so.
We're submitting this to The Culinary Tour Around the World, created by our virtual tour guide, Joan of Foodalogue.