This combination of breadfruit simmered in a stew of coconut milk and pork is one of those dishes which takes me right back to being a carefree boy on the islands. My dad would have ‘card’ night with my grandfather, his brother-in-law (my grandmother’s brother) and a few other fellas from the village. Since mom knew this was usually an all-night thing, she would always make a huge pot of this. The crew always requested (demanded) it. My brother and I would always have our portion early (before hitting the bed).. sisters never cared for it.
This is basically a simplified oil-dong and somewhat different than mom’s.
2 1/2 lbs pork (try to get a piece with some fat)
1/2 lime (wash the pork)
3/4 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (may contain gluten)
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 medium onion (diced)
1/2 medium tomato (diced)
1 tablespoon veg oil
1 1/2 tablespoon golden brown sugar
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 1/2 cups water
1 med/large breadfruit (peel, cored, cut into wedges)
4 sprigs thyme
1 scotch bonnet pepper
1 small bell pepper (optional)
2 tablespoon parsley chopped
Important. If doing this recipe gluten free, please go through the entire list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs.
Wash the pork (1 inch cube) with the juice of the lime along with some cool water, drain and then season with the salt, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, grated ginger, tomato and the Caribbean green seasoning. Mix well and allow to marinate for at least a couple hours.
Heat the vegetable oil on a medium high/flame in a deep/heavy pot (one with a lid), then add the brown sugar and move around (with a dry spoon). It will melt, go frothy, then amber in color. Have the seasoned pork close at hand.. if the sugar goes black STOP! Start over if necessary or it will have a bitter aftertaste. Once deep amber in color, start adding the seasoned pork. Yes it’s ok for the marinade to go into the pot as well. Stir well, then place the lid on the pot. As it comes to a boil it will start springing it’s own juices. Turn the heat down to med/low and allow it to cook for about 10 minutes.
No it will not be a sweet dish.. the sort of caramelized sugar will give the dish an awesome flavor and deep color. In the same bowl you marinated the pork, add the water and swish around to pick up any marinade which may be left back. Save this. To intensify the stew flavor and color, remove the lid and crank up the heat to burn off all the liquid. It will take about 5 minutes. Be sure you can see the oil we started with at the bottom of the pot.
Now add the water from the bowl and stir. Place the wedges of breadfruit into the pot (tuck them in), then top with the coconut milk, scallions, thyme and float the scotch bonnet pepper. Be mindful of the pepper as this cooks so you don’t break it and release the fury. Unless you want the raw heat of the pepper. Place the lid on the pot and bring to a boil.
As it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and allow it to cook for about 90 minutes.
Try to stir the pot every 20 minutes or so, to move the pieces of breadfruit around so they cook evenly. Remove the scotch bonnet pepper now (discard?) and taste for and adjust the salt if necessary. You may need a bit more salt.
I topped it with diced bell peppers and parsley, turned the heat off and with the lid back on.. the residual heat softened things up. I like ending like this to add a punch of color to the finished dish.. but this is purely optional. A wonderful one-pot dish, which screams “Comfort”! I’m sure you can do the same with beef or chicken if pork is not your thing.
Do you own a copy of my cookbook ?- The Vibrant Caribbean Pot 100 Traditional And Fusion recipes Vol 2