Quimbombo con Carne de Puerco y Bolitas de Platano/Okra Stew with Pork and Plantain Dumplings
- 1/4 pound slab bacon, cubed
- 1 pound lean pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup naranja agria (50/50 fresh orange juice combined with fresh lime juice)
- 1 large white onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
- 1 to 2 large tomatoes, cut in half horizontally
- 4 to 5 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 pound fresh okra
- 20 to 24 plantain dumplings (see below)
Rinse the okra pods well and blot the pods with paper towels.
Using the side of a large knife or mortar and pestle, mash the garlic to a paste and combine well with salt and pepper. Add citrus juices. In a large glass bowl, pour marinade over pork chunks and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
In a large heavy pot or dutch oven, saute the bacon over medium-high heat until it begins to render its fat, about 1 to 2 minutes. Drain pork chunks well and reserve the marinade. Pat chunks dry then add to the pot, turning them until they are browned on all sides, about 5 to 6 minutes. Lower heat to medium, add the onions and peppers and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Pass the cut tomatoes through a box grater, reserving the pulp and juice and discarding the skin. Add the tomato pulp, broth, and wine. Slowly bring to a steady simmer then cook an additional 10 minutes. To prepare the okra, trim the ends then slice the pods into 1/4-inch rounds, dropping them into the pot as you go, cook an additional 10 minutes. The pork should be cooked through and fork tender. Add the plantain dumplings and simmer until warmed through, about 5 more minutes.
Cook's Note: Naranja agria is made from sour or Seville oranges that are available in many Latin American markets. If you cannot find fresh sour oranges, a mixture that is equal parts fresh orange juice to lime juice is preferable to the pre-bottled marinades.
Cut the plantains in half, leaving the peels on. Put plantains in a heavy saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a rolling boil. Lower to heat to medium and simmer covered until the plantains are tender and peeking out of the peel, about 10 minutes.
When cool enough to handle but still warm, peel, place in a large bowl and mash together. Scoop out one tablespoon of mashed plantain and shape into 1-inch balls. Yield: 20-24 dumplings.