This is pure sunshine on a plate and was inspired by a boxing day buffet some 30 years ago cooked by my friend’s dad Harry; a supremely funny and likeable man.
I suppose up until then I had only really endured the usual boxing day fayre of sad looking prawns on a bed of wilting iceberg lettuce and soggy vol-au-vents, so naturally when a punchy, fruity bowl of deliciousness was presented it’s a difficult one to forget at such an impressionable age!
I have tried over the years to recreate the dish and I hope this version does his wonderful cooking justice.
You can change the type of chilli’s or the quantity, depending on how hot you like it.
I like a fiery kick so I use Birdseye or scotch bonnet, feel free to adjust to your palate.
You can also sub the pork for chicken or butternut squash, just reduce the cooking time for a veggie option.
Makes 4-6 portions
800g pork fillet
2 small red onions roughly chopped
Thumb size fresh ginger
1 red bell pepper roughly chopped
2 fresh birds eye chilli (or more if you’re brave!)
1 tin pineapple chopped (reserve juice)
1 chopped mango
1 tin coconut milk
2 fat cloves garlic chopped
Large handful of chopped coriander
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 chicken stock cubes
1 tbsp coconut oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp hot sauce
Small bunch thyme or 2 dried tsp
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp chilli powder medium
½ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp celery seeds
1 tsp ground all spice
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
You can make twice as much of this spice mix and use it the next time, or use as an amazing BBQ rub!
1. Dice your pork into bite size chunks and rub all over in the spice mix with the lime juice, garlic and ginger. refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
2. Get a heavy bottomed large pan nice and hot with coconut oil, then sear the meat on all sides. Then set aside.
3. Add onions and peppers to the same pan and lightly fry for a few minutes.
4. Add tomatoes, coconut milk, thyme, chilli, stock cubes, and pork.
5. Give the remaining pork marinade a little swirl with the reserved pineapple juice and add (don’t waste it!)
6. Cook on a slow simmer for 20 mins, or until you have a nice thick glossy sauce, I usually allow it to reduce by 1/3
7. Add the chopped pineapple and mango cook for a further 5 minutes.
8. Add chopped coriander before serving and dish up with ‘easy peasy rice & peas!’
Just a note of warning… the pineapple has natural sugars so beware in your rush to enjoy… they can be nuclear in temperature!
Easy peasy rice & peas
A traditional and iconic Caribbean side dish… simplified!
x1 tin red kidney beans
x1 tin coconut milk
1 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp ground all spice
1 tsp salt
Small bunch spring onions sliced
200g long grain white rice.
1. Drain and rinse kidney beans and add to a large pan with coconut milk, 100 ml water, thyme, all spice and salt, bring to a simmer.
2. Add the well rinsed rice to the pot (it’s important to get the rice really clean, you don’t want starchy claggy rice!) simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes.
3. Stir well, add the lid to the pot and turn to low simmer for a further 5 minutes or until the rice is cooked and all the liquid is absorbed.
4. I like to drape a clean tea towel over the pot for 5 minutes before adding a good grind of black pepper and the chopped spring onions. (the tea towel seems to allow the residual steam to absorb into the rice making it extra fluffy.)
I hope you give the recipe a go and enjoy it and remember it as much as i have!
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