1 kg (2 lb) boneless pork loin, cut into large 5-cm (2-inch) cubes
310 ml (1 1/4 cups) dry white wine, divided
60 ml (1/4 cup) white wine vinegar
60 ml (1/4 cup) lemon juice
1 large head garlic, minced
6 bay leaves
3 ml (3/4 tsp) pimento paste, divided
2 ml (1/2 tsp) paprika, divided
1 ml (1/4 tsp) whole black peppercorns, crushed
1 ml (1/4 tsp) whole cloves
1 ml (1/4 tsp) piri-piri sauce or Tabasco sauce
90 ml (6 tbsp) lard (approximately)
Fine salt and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
Rinse the pork under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Transfer to resealable bag and place in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine 250 ml (1 cup) wine, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, bay leaves, 2 ml (1/2 tsp) pimento paste, 1 ml (1/4 tsp) paprika, peppercorns, cloves and piri-piri sauce. Pour over the pork and seal the bag; turn to coat well. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight, turning several times. Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
Remove the pork from the marinade, letting the excess drip off. (If barbecuing, reserve and strain the marinade; otherwise discard.) Pat the pork dry with paper towels.
In a skillet, heat the lard over medium-high heat until melted. Cook the pork, in batches, for about 2 minutes per side, until golden brown. (If barbecuing, grill the pork on medium or 10 to 15 cm, 4 to 6 inches, from medium-hot coals, brushing occasionally with reserved marinade, for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until brown.) Transfer the pork to a plate and keep warm.
Drain all the fat from the skillet and pour in the remaining 60 ml (1/4 cup) wine, 1 ml (1 tsp) pimento paste, 1 ml (1/4 tsp) paprika, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the pork pieces, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the pork juices run clear. Transfer the pork to a serving dish. Using a spoon, degrease the pan juices and drizzle the sauce over the pork.
Tester’s notes: This dish had an incredible flavour, and not just from the fearless amount of garlic. If you tend to think of the bay leaf as an aimless herb you occasionally have to pick out of your beef stew, the subtle green flavour in this marinade will be a revelation. Buy fresh bay leaves, if you can find them, or, if using dried, make sure they are still aromatic. I found the lean pork loin I used was tasty but could have been more tender — I will probably look for more marbled meat next time.
– Excerpted from Pimentos & Piri Piri: Portuguese Comfort Cooking, by Carla Azevedo, Whitecap Books
© 2014 Kiwanis Club of Stratford. Stratford Garlic Festival is a community project of the Kiwanis Club of Stratford raising funds for various local initiatives. Website design by Designed to Connect.