1552108_10151866808252055_1051475082_oGrowing up, I didn’t really know the difference between some Filipino stews — especially if they were tomato-based stews. Same with this Pork Afritada dish. It is simply “stewed pork in tomato sauce.” But is it a mechado or caldereta dish? Both those are cooked in tomato sauce and cuts of carrots and potatoes. My aunt explained it to me this way. She says the difference is in the cut of meat that you use and the additional ingredients you add. As for the taste, each dish is different — but tasty — even if base ingredients are the same.

2 lbs. pork, chopped
2 potatos, cut into wedges
2 large carrot, cut into wedges
3 pieces bay leaves
2 cups tomato sauce
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1½ cups pork broth
1 cup bell pepper, diced (optional)
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 cup onion, chopped
2 tablespoons cooking oil
salt to taste

Heat the cooking oil in a pan and sauté the garlic and onions until fragrant. Add the pork and sauté until the outer parts are browned. Add the bay leaves and tomato sauce then simmer for 5 minutes. Add the ground black pepper and then pour-in the broth. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until the meat is tender. Add potatos and carrots, Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until potatos are cooked. Add the bell pepper and simmer for about 3 minutes. Add salt to taste. Serve hot with rice.