guisada: pork stew with leeks, potatoes, and grape tomatoes

DSC03486We wanted American food. We went t0 The Great American Rib Company in Soi 36. Andy had half a rack of ribs and I had the pulled pork. Andy’s ribs were tender and came off the bones. He got baked beans, cole slaw, and chili corn bread slices with his ribs. I tried a bit of the beans and the corn bread. The beans were a tad sweet–too much brown sugar is my guess. The cornbread was dry and the chili flavor was stale. Andy ordered a side of curly fries. They were fresh and hot and served with a side of barbecue sauce. My dinner arrived with barbecue sauce on the side, cole slaw, and french fries. The pork was dry and chewy. Dabbing sauce on top helped a bit. To save costs, the pickles had been shaved so thin on a mandoline you couldn’t taste them. The cole slaw was watery and warm. We didn’t finish it. I’ve eaten at American Rib Co. before, but I think the quality of the food has deteriorated. The whole experience cost Baht 1500 (approximately US$46.00). Disappointing. Not worth the expense.

On Sunday evening, I made the guisada again. This is a latin beef stew which I had adapted to pork. This time I freely experimented with the ingredients, adding what I like to the stew. I thought leeks would be a nice exchange for the scallions, and tomato paste would ramp up the flavor without having to add more salt.



Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks, white part only
4 cloves garlic
1 cup organic grape tomatoes
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped coarsely
1 1/2 lb pork tenderloin, sliced into chunks
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons beer (I used Chang beer)
2/3 cup water
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons seasoning salt
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 large dried bay leaf
4 cups small-medium organic potatoes, quartered or cut into eighths
1 tablespoon tomato paste

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large Dutch pot. Add the leeks, garlic, tomatoes and cilantro. Cook 5 minutes or until the vegetables are wilted.
Add 1/3 cup beer, 1/3 cup water, 1 teaspoon seasoning salt, cumin, paprika, and bay leaf. Stir to combine. Add the potatoes and the tomato paste. Add more water about 1/3 cup more, if needed. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.

Put the pork in a medium bowl with 1 teaspoon of the seasoning salt and the flour. Mix well. Over medium high heat, heat the teaspoon oil in a large skillet then brown the meat. Add the meat to the vegetables. Return the skillet to the heat. To the skillet, add the 2 tablespoons beer and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom. The beer will bubble, thicken, and reduce. Pour the reduction in the stew, scraping out all the browned bits into the guisada.

That’s it. Serve and eat.