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Carne con tomate

Meat with tomato? Doesn’t sound particularly exciting, does it? But this dish is so full of flavour, where the pork is stewed in a home-made tomato sauce until the meat almost falls apart, and yet so simple to make

If you’re not quite convinced by the name, try it the next time you see it on offer as a tapa, and then you’ll certainly choose it for your main midday meal when you see ‘Carne con Tomate’ on a restaurant menu.

It’s a very popular, traditional dish, either out or at home, in Andalucía and is based on the ubiquitous ‘sofrito’.

You will need one kilo of cubed stewing pork. Ask for ‘un kilo de magro de cerdo en trozos’ at your Spanish butcher’s.

Gently sauté one finely chopped onion in some olive oil in a large saucepan on a low-ish flame. Now add one large red pepper, deseeded and chopped, although some recipes leave this out. You could use green pepper instead, or one medium sized of each colour. Add 1 or 2 cloves of chopped garlic if you want, although it’s not the done thing in some parts of Andalucía!

Brown the cubed meat, and add one kilo of chopped, ripe tomatoes, peeled and deseeded, or just cut in half across the middle and grate them on a cheese grater. If you are using tinned tomatoes, you will need a large can of 800 grams. Cook on a high heat for a few minutes, throw in a bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of sugar. A touch of nutmeg adds to the flavour.

Carne con Tomate - Photo - www.Pepekitchen.com

Half a glass of white wine or sherry needs to go in at this point. Cover, turn down the heat to low, and let the pork cook until it is tender and the tomatoes are reduced to a sauce. This should take around one and a half hours, but do keep your eye on it as it cooks in case the sauce begins to dry out, in which case you will need to add a little bit of hot water.

Carne con tomate goes very well with chips, and don’t forget some fresh, crusty bread to mop up the sauce.