Pork Afritada with tender pork, carrots, potatoes, and bell peppers in rich tomato gravy is a dinner favorite for good reason! This pork stew is tasty, filling, and perfect with steamed rice.
When I planned the recipes I was going to update and republish for our holiday series, pork afritada was on the top of my list. Whether for special occasions or everyday dinners, you can’t go wrong with the comfort flavors of this classic Filipino stew.
Why You’ll Love Afritada
- It’s budget-friendly and a short list of staple ingredients.
- It’s easy to make, cooks in one pan, and is ready in an hour.
- It’s perfect for feeding a large crowd; the recipe can be doubled or tripled in a pinch.
- It’s versatile and can be easily adapted to what type of meat or protein is on hand. You can use chicken, beef and even fish such as bangus or tilapia.
- It’s tasty, filling, and perfect with steamed rice!
How to Make Easy Pork Afritada
Pork afritada starts by sauteing the meat with garlic and onions until lightly browned and then simmering in a tomato-based broth. When the pork is tender, pan-fried carrots, carrots, and bell peppers are added in to complete the dish.
I have two ways of making afritada depending on the kind of meat I use. For the chicken version, I use fresh tomatoes for a lighter sauce and usually add green peas to the traditional mix of vegetables. For pork or beef, I like canned tomato paste plus a small dollop of tomato paste for a thicker sauce.
I love the melt-in-your-mouth tenderness of pork belly when it’s cooked low and slow but feel free to swap with a leaner cut such pork butt or picnic if you want to trim down the fat and calories.
How to Make Special Afritada
Afritada is mostly served as a regular family meal but you can easily make it extra special by adding one or two simple ingredients.
My favorite way to turn it into a party-worthy fare is pineapple chunks which not only brightens the dish with color but also brings a hint of sweetness that goes really well with the tomato sauce.
Want to boost the flavor? Add smoked meats such as ham, bacon, chorizo de bilbao or hot dogs.
The easiest trick, however, to kick up the presentation is deep-frying the cubed potatoes and carrots until they’re lightly browned and tender. They will hold their shape better instead of disintegrating into the sauce and can be used to garnish the stew when serving.
Give this pork afritada a try for dinner tonight. With tender pork, potatoes, carrots, and bell peppers smothered in a glorious tomato gravy, it’s sure to be a family favorite.
And don’t forget the steamed rice! You’ll need it 🙂
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cubed
- 1/2 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into cubes
- 1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into cubes
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 3 pounds pork belly or pork butt, cut into 2-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a wide pan over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add potatoes and carrots and cook until lightly browned. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
- Remove oil from pan except for about 2 tablespoons.
- Add bell peppers and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
- Add onions and garlic and cook until softened.
- Add pork and cook until lightly browned.
- Add fish sauce and cook for about 1 minute.
- Add tomato sauce and water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and continue to cook for about 40 to 45 minutes or until pork is tender.
- Add potatoes and carrots. Continue to cook for until tender and sauce is thickened and reduced.
- Add bell peppers and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until tender yet crisp. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.