If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything.
Pork guisantes, or pork and peas, is a simple yet hearty dish that’s usually made by stewing pork, peas, and bell peppers in tomato sauce. It comes together quickly and is well balanced with warm notes of cinnamon, bright and tangy flavors, and a touch of soy. This is a great weeknight meal and tastes even better when it’s reheated the next day.
1½ pounds pork butt, with fat cap
1 teaspoon neutral oil
1 small Maui onion, peeled and sliced into ½-inch wedges
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
½ red bell pepper, seeded and cut into ½-inch-wide strips
½ teaspoon Hawaiian salt (‘alaea)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cane vinegar, coconut vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce (shoyu)
One 15-ounce can tomato sauce
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and diced into ½-inch cubes
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup frozen peas
3 cups steamed rice, for serving
Trim the fat cap from the pork, cut the cap into a couple pieces, and set aside. Slice the lean pork meat into 1 by 1½ by ½-inch strips.
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the trimmed pork fat until golden brown and the fat has rendered, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove the fat cap pieces from the pan and discard. Add the oil to the pan and heat over medium heat until shiny, then add the onion and turn the heat to medium-low. Sauté until the onion has softened and is nearly translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the lean pork strips, garlic, and bell pepper and cook until the pork is browned on both sides, another 5 to 6 minutes. Season with the salt and black pepper. Add the vinegar and soy sauce and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often, before adding the tomato sauce, tomatoes, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick. Simmer on low heat until the pork is tender, about 45 minutes. You can test this by sticking a fork in it; if the fork can be easily inserted, it’s done.
Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Stir in the frozen peas and cook until they are heated through, another minute or two. Serve with steamed rice.