Sunday, February 10, 2013

Back on the Blog with Spicy Geera Pork

Well, yes, allyuh… I am finally back, so Happy 2013 one time, (don’t mind the year is two months old already and it is literally Dimacnhe Gras - the Sunday before Carnival in T&T).

Though I am seriously tardy with posts, I must admit that waiting for today to post to the blog was timely, since at Carnival time we really enjoy eating. Just yesterday I revisited my Granny’s split pea soup with pigtails and it was so good, I had to secure some for Sunday lunch. So shocker of shockers… there is no pelau in the house for Carnival. But that’s fine, cuz I made sure to have an eclectic mix of foods in the fridge, from salted fish right down, so you know some home made bread is on the menu later too.

So… what to do when you’re feeling peckish? You make one of this country’s most loved cutters, geera pork. If you’re wondering what geera is, it’s a spice that’s also known as cumin and it’s much loved in East Indian cooking. I tend to use lots of it when I make a filling for fried potato pies too – it’s such a homey, comforting spice that says “T&T”.

Now I must confess that the first time I was introduced to geera-ing food was from my friend Joseanne Henry, who taught me how to do some geera chicken wings (thanks Joseibaby!). Over time, I adapted her original recipe into this one I use for geera pork, which has been my go-to ever since. Truth be told, you can geera almost anything, wings, necks, pork, fish and even vegetables. It's not too difficult; just use some pork, vegetable oil, seasonings and of course, some good geera powder.

Here’s a peep into the bacchanal.

First things first: I always season my pork. I used a nice pork loin that I cut into 1 inch pieces and seasoned with lime juice, salt, chopped chives, ½ a small onion, 2 pimento peppers, and a couple leaves of chadon beni. Left it to marinate for half an hour.

Next, I poured a potspoonful of vegetable oil into my deep saucepan and put it on medium high heat. I cut 3 more pimento peppers in half and tossed them in the oil with a whole, peeled clove of garlic.

Time to cook the geera! When my peppers and garlic got good and sautéed, I added in about 3 tablespoonfuls to the oil and seasonings – I was pouring from the packet, so I averaged it, no scene. Gave everything a good stir and almost got high off the lovely fumes as well…

In went the seasoned pork, which was stirred well into the geera; every grain seemed to cling to the meat like a tight pair of jeans!

Once everything was coated with the geera and the meat looked saturated, I covered the pot tightly and left it for 10 to 15 minutes. This is the stage where the pork started letting its juices out, so it was literally “stewing”. (See the moisture under the lid?)

Opened the pot to reveal a cloud of steam that soon dissipated to reveal the lovely pork swimming in sauce.

I started seasoning it up. A little salt and pepper sauce (to my strength) were stirred in and I let it continue to cook until the liquid evaporated.

Tasted a piece, only to realise it was still a bit tangy, so to counteract that, I sprinkled in a little brown sugar (roughly a teaspoon). I then added a ¼ cup of water, stirred everything in, and lastly, a teaspoonful more of geera – worry not, it cooks as the liquid evaporates. Kept my eye on it, and soon...

De POT was DONE!

Tender. Spicy. Delicious Geera Pork.

Geera pork is one of my favourite things to make, and I don’t have to wait for a special season to do it, either. Today, Dimanche Gras, it was a perfect choice for Carnival. It is usually served in little Styrofoam cups with a spoon, so it makes for a BESS cutter at any lime, especially when drinks are flowing non-stop.

Of course, it was devoured hastily, despite the fact that I love it at room temperature, which is how it’s generally served. This here was just right flavourwise; enough pepper not to go overboard and perfectly seasoned, ready to be enjoyed in some hops bread or plain in a Styrofoam cup.

So that’s the start to my 2K13 Carnival, everyone. Hope yours is just as much fun as mine at home. Stay tuned for more kitchen escapades in future and like I always say... doh forget to mind de pot!

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