SPANISH BRAISED PORK WITH POTATOES AND OLIVES
2lb (900g) British pork, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 heaped teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, plus a few small sprigs
10 fl oz (275 ml) red wine
2 bay leaves
salt and freshly milled black pepper
1 lb (450 g) salad potatoes, halved if large
1½ oz (40 g) black olives
1½ oz (40 g) green olives
1 lb (450 g) ripe red tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced into half-moon shapes
1 large red pepper, deseeded and sliced into 1¼ inch (3 cm) strips
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
First, skin the tomatoes: pour boiling water over them and leave them for exactly 1 minute before draining and slipping off their skins, then roughly chop them. Now heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in the casserole over a high heat, pat the cubes of pork with kitchen paper and brown them on all sides, about 6 pieces at a time, removing them to a plate as they're browned.
Then, keeping the heat high, add the rest of the oil, then the onions and pepper, and brown them a little at the edges – about 6 minutes.
Now add the garlic, stir that around for about 1 minute, then return the browned meat to the casserole and add all the thyme, tomatoes, red wine, olives and bay leaves. Bring everything up to a gentle simmer, seasoning well, then put the lid on and transfer the casserole to the middle shelf of the oven for 1¼ hours.
After that, add the potatoes, cover the pan again and cook for a further 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1, 275F (140C)
You will also need a lidded flameproof casserole with a capacity of 6 pints (3.5 litres).
Pairs Well With
This is a new version of a recipe originally published in 1978 – the pork slowly braises in tomatoes and red wine, absorbing the flavour of the olives. Because I now cook potatoes in with it, all it needs is a green vegetable or a salad for a complete meal. I started off stoning the olives, but I now prefer them whole, as they look far nicer.