Carne con Tomate is a classic Andalucian dish made with meat and tomatoes. The meat in question is usually beef or pork. I had some soft ripe tomatoes in the fridge along with leftover roast pork so it seemed like an obvious recipe to cook. You will find this served in many bars and restaurants in the south, usually with fried potatoes or rice. I can’t find any particular story behind the recipe, which is fairly similar from all sources. Cooking with cumin and nutmeg (used in many recipes, but not all) suggests a Moorish origin, though obviously not with pork, plus the green pepper and tomatoes came to Spain from the Americas, after the Fall of Granada in 1492.
Receta de Carne con Tomate (serves 4):
750g pork (diced)
1 large onion (chopped)0
6 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1 green pepper (chopped)
6 ripe tomatoes (grated)
2 dessertspoons tomato purée
a squirt anchovy paste
a teaspoon cumin seeds (ground)
a handful fresh coriander (chopped)
2 bay leaves
a large glass dry white wine
a splash sherry vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
a teaspoon chopped coriander (to serve)
If cooking the pork from scratch, cut into bite sized pieces and brown in hot olive oil, before reserving to a plate. My meat had already been roasted, so I started with the onion.
Sofreír (poach) the onion gently in plenty of olive oil until it becomes soft and sticky.
Stir in the chopped garlic followed by the grated tomatoes, with a little salt and pepper. The Spanish often use tomate triturado (crushed tomato) in a can or carton when fresh tomatoes are out of season. Allow the sofrito to thicken on a low heat for 10 minutes.
The chopped green pepper goes in next, or red if you prefer.
Warm a teaspoon of cumin seeds in a small pan, but don’t cook it or let them burn! When you can smell cumin, grind with a pinch of salt using a mortar and pestle.
Incorporate the diced pork
and pour on the dry white wine with a splash of sherry vinegar. Allow the alcohol to cook off for 5 minutes or so.
Sprinkle on a handful of chopped coriander, mix well along with a squirt of anchovy paste, 2 dessertspoons tomato purée and 2 bay leaves. Check the seasoning, put the lid on the casserole and remove to a pre-heated oven at 150ºC. If using fresh pork, cook for 90 minues to 2 hours, or until tender. My pre-cooked roast pork was looking good at 35 minutes!