If you’ve been following my blog, chances are that you are already well aware of my love for pork. In my book, chicken is the most boring meat on planet earth in the history of mankind, beef slightly better, mutton, an acquired taste and pork, the oh-so-divine.
Don’t even get me started on “chicken bacon” and “chicken ham”. What sacrilege is this? The rest of the world is laughing their heads off at us pork-phobic nation!
I really don’t understand this hatred towards pork. Do you have any idea why this glorious meat is being hated and shamed like this? If you do, please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
And out of all the ways I like my pork, this is the way I love it the most. It is my mother’s specialty in which the true hero is the pork. As much as I love the Sri Lankan Pork black curry, in this Sri Lankan Pork Bistek, the pork is not overwhelmed by a profusion of spices but rather lifted up with a gentle nudge from all the cardamom, cinnamon and clove used. I love the fact that you can actually taste the pork in this dish rather than confuse the palate. I like clean tastes. And this is exactly what it is – a clean tasting, amazingly flavorful dish that helps the pork truly shine through.
Sri Lankan Pork Bistek
- Pork - 1 kg, cubed
- Onions - 2, large, sliced in rinds
- Garlic - 2 tblsps, minced
- Ginger - 2 tsps, minced
- Cloves - 8, bruised
- Cinnamon - 1 inch piece
- Cardamoms - 8, bruised
- Turmeric - 2 tsps
- Banana peppers - 4, large, sliced in rinds
- Salt - To taste
- Pepper - To taste
- Boil the pork with turmeric, some salt and pepper in water to just cover the meat. Once the meat is soft, drain the water and set aside.
- In a separate pan, heat 1 tblsp oil. Add in the cinnamon, broken into little pieces, cardamom and clove bruised together in a mortar and pestle and sauté until translucent on high heat.
- Add in the onions and sauté until translucent. Add in the garlic and the ginger and sauté till fragrant.
- Add in the drained pork. Mix everything together until the pork becomes slightly browned. Lower the flame and let simmer covered for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add in the banana peppers. Mix thoroughly and keep covered until serving.
I love this recipe because it creates the perfect canvas for the mighty pork to shine. I always use the fattiest pork because the fatty bits have this way of giving incredible moisture to the dish, beautifully bringing together all those flavors.
The garlic paints the picture with a soft perfume while the ginger creates a slight sting. The cardamom, clove and cinnamon beautifully fragrances and lingers right through, seeping into the meat, enveloping the pork in a perfumed embrace. The banana peppers are crunchy and when bitten into, provides that much needed bite and piquancy to the dish, slicing through the fatty pork like a heated knife through butter. It all comes together oh-so-well, the ingredients enhancing the flavor of the pork, letting the meat to truly shine through.
Simple. Clean. Elegant. Just like I like my pork (and basically everything else). Try it and see for yourself.