Afelia is a very traditional Cypriot dish of pork cubes marinated and then cooked with red wine and coriander seeds, and the smell of the aromatic seed will forever take me back to the the kitchen when my Yiayia and mum would make this for us.
Whilst most Cypriot cuisine is heavily influenced by the islands many invaders and occupiers, Afelia is a truly Cypriot dish.
Normally served with bulgur and yogurt, my mum would do it with buttery rice, which I absolutely adored.
I don't make it often, but when i do its a comforting hug from the inside. The fact that its fairly low effort makes it a double win in my eyes.
All it needs is a big hunk of crusty bread to wipe the plate clean
Difficulty : Medium
1kg bonless pork cut into cubes - either shoulder or if you like a leaner meat you can use loin
2 cups red wine
2 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
Freshly ground black pepper
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp salt
3 shallots, cut into halves
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoon of passata (optional)
Note that a cup in this recipe is a standard sized tea mug - measurements of wine do not need to be exact.
1 - Put the pork, wine and 1 tablespoon of the crushed coriander seeds and bay leaves some salt and pepper in a bowl and leave to marinade for minimum 2 hours.
2 - Drain the pork completely - reserving the wine. Allow it to strain for a few minutes so as much liquid is drained as possible - it makes it better when you're frying the meat as less liquid is coming into contact with the oil
3 - Heat a splash of oil in a sauté pan and brown the meat on both sides along with the shallots and the last tablespoon of coriander seeds - allow them to cook for a few minutes to allow the coriander seeds to toast a little. Add 2/3 or so of the reserved marinade, the lemon juice and passata (if using), mix for a few minutes and add half a cup of water as well as some seasoning.
4 - Cover the pan with a lid. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer for about 1 hour or until the meat is tender, adding more water or seasoning if needed.
5 - Traditionally served with bulgur wheat, as I have here, it works well with potatoes, rice and salad too
A few notes
- As mentioned this is traditionally served with bulgur wheat - you can find my recipe here just leave out the tinned tomatoes.
- The addition of the passata doesn't do too much the flavour, but it does create a richer sauce which i prefer - traditionally passata is not added.
- some people like to add mushrooms too - also not traditional but if you love them then go ahead, just saute them in a separate pan for a few minutes and add to the Afelia a few minutes before turning off the heat.