I'm in the habit of picking up a can of tomatoes every time I head to the grocery store, but I hardly amass more than two or three cans. Inevitably, I'll come across a recipe that calls for canned tomatoes and, lucky for me, all I have to do is stroll to the pantry and pull them out. This recipe from Jamie Oliver provides a compelling reason to always keep canned tomatoes on hand if you don't already — and that reason comes in the form of a rich tomato and red pepper pork stew.
Canned tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and heaps of smoked paprika flavor pork shoulder with acidic, umami flavor. At some point in this recipe it will feel like all you're doing is opening cans. Normally such an action can make you apprehensive. Is this going to tasty tinny? Or like it came out of a can?
The answer is not one bit. All the acid in the tomatoes keep this dish from feeling muted, and the list of spices — caraway, crushed chiles, oregano — along with the cups of fresh bell pepper, make it anything but dull.
Above all, the flavor you get from this dish is a sweet and savory smokiness, thanks to the roasted red pepper and smoked paprika. Along with the tomatoes, the core flavors are coming from your pantry. Serve it over rice and your meal is made.
Jamie Oliver's Pork and Chile-Pepper Goulash
Serves 8 to 10
4 1/2 pounds pork shoulder off the bone, in one piece, skin off, fat left on
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 red onions, peeled and finely sliced
2 fresh red chillies (such as habenero, red jalapeno, or Thai bird) deseeded and finely chopped
2 generously heaped tablespoons mild smoked paprika, plus a little extra for serving
2 teaspoons ground caraway seeds
Small bunch of fresh marjoram or oregano, leaves picked
5 bell peppers (use a mixture of colors)
1 (10-ounce) jar of grilled (roasted) peppers, drained, peeled, and chopped
1 (14-ounce) can of good-quality plum tomatoes
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Zest of 1 lemon
Small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Get yourself a deep, ovenproof stew pot with a lid and heat it on the stove. Score the fat on the stove in a criss-cross pattern all the way through to the meat, then season generously with salt and pepper. Pour a good glug of olive oil into the pot and add the pork, fat-side down. Cook for about 15 minutes on a medium heat, to render out the fat, then remove the pork from the pot and put it to one side.
Add the onions, chilli, paprika, caraway seeds, marjoram or oregano, and a good pinch of salt and pepper to the pot. Turn the heat down and gently cook the onions for 10 minutes, then add the sliced peppers, the grilled (roasted) peppers, and the tomatoes. Put the pork back into the pot, give everything a little shake, then pour in enough water to just cover the meat. Add the vinegar — this will give it a nice little twang. Bring to the boil, put the lid on top, then place in the preheated oven for 3 hours.
You'll know when the meat is cooked, as it will be tender and sticky, and it will break up easily when pulled apart with two forks. If it's not quite there yet, put the pot back into the oven and just be patient for a little longer!
When the meat is nearly ready, cook the rice in salted, boiling water for 10 minutes until it's just undercooked, then drain in a colander, reserving some of the cooking water and pouring it back into the pan. Place the colander over the pan on a low heat and put a lid on. Leave to steam dry and cook through for 10 minutes — this will make the rice lovely and fluffy.
Stir the sour cream, lemon zest, and most of the parsley together in a little bowl. When the meat is done, take the pot out of the oven and taste the goulash. You're after a balance of sweetness from the peppers and spiciness from the caraway seeds. Tear or break the meat up and serve the goulash in a big dish or bowl, with a bowl of your steaming rice and your flavored sour cream. Sprinkle with the rest of the chopped parsley and tuck in!
Reprinted with permission from Jamie at Home: Cook Your Way to the Good Life by Jamie Oliver, copyright (c) 2007. Published by Hachette Books.