Tomato Pepper Pork
Tomato pepper pork is a simple wholesome dish with tender pork, juicy tomatoes, and flavorful peppers. You only need salt and pepper - fancy spices are totally optional.
If you're starting out in the kitchen and want to get over your fear of cooking meat, you should make this tomato pepper pork. In just half an hour, you can make a complete meal with well seasoned juicy meat and tender veggies. Is raw meat squishy and kinda gross? Yes. Am I going to get food poisoning from undercooked meat? Probably not - cook it more if you're worried.
If you don't want to cook meat, or if you don't eat meat, you can still get plenty of perfectly good protein from eggs, yogurt, beans, peas, tofu, so meat doesn't have to be a staple part of your diet.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 pound of boneless pork loin, diced
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 4 plum tomatoes, diced
- ¼ teaspoon of pepper (30 cranks)
- Heat up the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
- When the oil is hot, add in the garlic. Stirring occasionally, cook for about a minute until the garlic is golden brown.
- Add in the pork, and season with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Stirring occasionally, cook for 3-4 minutes until the pork is no longer pink. Transfer to a separate plate.
- Add in the bell pepper, and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add in the tomatoes, and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add in the cooked pork.
- Remove from heat. Add pepper to taste, and serve immediately. Leftovers keep well in the fridge for a few days.
- Olive oil: Used for cooking the tomato pepper pork. Helps mellow out the onion and toast the spices. Any sort of oil (canola, vegetable, olive) is okay.
- Garlic: Adds most of the flavor. Use up to 4 cloves.
- Pork: Pork loin is a long, boneless cylinder of meat. Any sort of lean, boneless meat would work. For a vegetarian option, you could make shakshuka. For a vegan option, you could make tomato tofu scramble.
- Salt: Seasons the dish. I used 1/4 teaspoon of table salt.
- Bell pepper: Adds flavor. Any color of bell pepper would work. Substituting mild poblano peppers would work. Substituting spicy peppers (jalapenos, Anaheim) would work, but you should be very careful and you will end up with less food.
- Tomatoes: Adds flavor. You don't cook the tomatoes for very long, so substituting canned tomatoes would be watery and less good. Substituting 2 round tomatoes would work well.
- Pepper: Seasons the dish. I had a pepper grinder (it's about $2), but the black powdery stuff works just fine.
- Additional spices: You can add 1/2 teaspoon cumin + 1/2 teaspoon paprika. You could also add 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning - basil, thyme, oregano.
Step by Step Photos
Tomato pepper pork comes together very quickly, and you need to add the ingredients in a certain order. To make the cooking process smoother, you should get separate plates for each component: garlic, pork, peppers, and tomatoes. It's marginally more to wash, but it'll save you a lot of hassle.
You will need to cook vegetables and meat. Cutting meat leaves your hands and the cutting board pretty gross, so you should start by cutting the vegetables. Peel and mince 2 cloves of garlic. Transfer the garlic to a small separate plate. It may seem annoying now, but it a lot easier to add garlic later.
Wash and dice 4 plum tomatoes. Out of season tomatoes aren't very flavorful eaten straight, but they're perfectly tasty when cooked in a dish. Put the tomatoes on a separate plate.
Rinse the bell pepper. Cut the bell pepper in half, scoop out the insides, and then rinse out any seeds. Dice bell pepper, and transfer it to a separate plate.
Now that you've cut all of the vegetables, you can cut the meat. I won't lie to you - cutting meat is gross and pretty intimidating at first. I ate vegetarian for most of freshman spring because I didn't want to prep meat. Well, you get over it eventually. Slightly frozen meat is easier to cut, but you can always get a sharp knife.
Dice the pork so that it's about the same size as the tomatoes and the peppers. Your hands will be pretty gross now. You should go thoroughly wash them with soap and water. See the minced garlic in the corner of the cutting board? That was a mistake on my part. It was a hassle to scoot over the garlic and transfer it into the pan.
Here are all of the diced raw ingredients. Transferring the tomatoes and bell peppers means you have to wash 2 additional plates, but they really aren't that dirty. Also, it's a bit easier if you also transfer the garlic to a separate plate.
Now, we can start the cooking process. Heat up the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add in the garlic. Stirring occasionally, cook for about a minute until the garlic is golden brown.
You should start by cooking the pork because its cook time is the most fickle and you can infuse the vegetables with more flavor. Add in the pork, and season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stirring occasionally, cook for 3-4 minutes until the pork is no longer pink. Note that the garlic on the bottom of the pan is starting to burn, so you should make sure to stir well at first.
This is what the pork looks like after it's mostly cooked. Raw pork is pink and squishy, and cooked pork is white and firm. Transfer the pork to a separate plate. If you don't, the meat will overcook.
How do you tell if pork is done? Technically, pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees. I refuse to buy a meat thermometer, and it's easier to bite (or cut) a piece in half. If it's raw, I throw it back into the pan. If you're squeamish about potentially ingesting undercooked meat, you can always err on the side of overcooking the pork.
Right now, the pan should have toasty garlic and pork juices. Bell pepper takes longer to cook, so we add it first. Add in the bell pepper, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add in the tomatoes, and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft.
Add in the cooked pork. If you find that some pieces of pork are still too underdone, you can continue cooking the tomato pepper pork for a while until the meat is done to your liking.
Remove from heat. Add pepper to taste. I used 30 cranks of a fancy pepper grinder (1/4 teaspoon). Serve immediately. Leftovers keep well in the fridge for a few days.
Conveniently, this recipe makes exactly 4 cups of food, and it fits very nicely into a plastic Tupperware container. I eat tomato pepper pork with peas, so this is about 3 servings.
Garnish tomato pepper pork with parsley if you're feeling fancy. I don't actually like parsley much, but it's pretty. I'm sure there are many food bloggers out there who aren't terribly fond of parsley or cilantro, but add it to everything because GARNISH. Serve with something starchy (rice, pasta, flatbread) and something green (spinach, peas) for a complete meal.
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