Before I give you details about this recipe I must give credit where credit is due. This recipe was completely made by my husband. This is one of his favorite dishes.
Now you may think this recipe is quite strange, in fact I did when my husband first told me about this dish a few years ago. It is a Romanian dish that is common there but usually instead of pork, it’s made with beef tongue. Yep, this is probably where I’ll lose you. This is where I almost gave up on this recipe. My mother in law gave me the recipe, so because I love my husband, I made it for him many years ago, with beef tongue.
It was very strange working with beef tongue, trust me, but unlike this dish with pork, you boil the beef tongue for a long time until it’s tender. I was quite surprised when I ate it, it was very good, the tongue was so tender, almost melts in your mouth. Now I said I liked it, I gave it a try, but it’s not something I go out of my way to buy and cook with. So that was that. I had never made this dish again.
But my husband loves this dish so much, he had to make it again, this time with pork instead, only because he couldn’t find beef tongue anywhere. I can’t say I was disappointed.
So if beef tongue didn’t scare you off yet, you might think that olives is a strange food to put in a stew. I thought the same. However, it’s one of the most interesting and delicious dishes I’ve had. Because the olives are pretty salty, we used sun dried black olives here, you don’t want to add too much salt. To get rid of the saltiness, you can poke holes in the olives with a toothpick and soak them in cold water for about half an hour. One other thing I should mention is that yes, you leave the pits in the olives, not sure why but that’s how it’s done.
So yes, it’s a strange dish, but sometimes they’re worth trying and who knows, you may surprise yourself and may end up liking the dish.
- 1 small pork tenderloin (about a lb), cut in ½ inch slices
- 2 cups sun dried black olives, with pits
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 3 bay leaves
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 cups water
- 1 cup tomato juice
- 1 cup white wine
- pinch of salt
- pepper to taste
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- Poke holes in the olives with a toothpick and place them in a bowl filled with cold water, to remove some of the saltiness, soak them for 30 minutes, after which drain them well.
- In a large skillet or a dutch oven heat 2 to 3 tbsp of the olive oil over low heat. Add onions, bell pepper, tomatoes, garlic, and carrot and saute for 3 to 4 minutes after which you add the white wine. When the alcohol has evaporated completely, add half a cup of tomato juice mixed with 1 cup of water, bay leaves and season with pepper. Cover the pan with a lid and let the sauce simmer on low heat until the vegetables begin to disintegrate, about 45 minutes. From time to time add a bit of water to retain a relatively liquid consistency.
- In a separate pan add remaining olive oil and when it's hot add the pork slices. Fry them on both sides until golden in color and cooked through. Remove from pan and place them on paper towels to soak up some of the oil.
- Remove bay leaves from the sauce. Add remaining tomato sauce with half a cup of water. Add pork to the sauce and olives. Season with salt if needed. Cover the pan with a lid and let it simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes until the sauce reduces a bit.
- Garnish with parsley and serve warm.