Now, before I start, I will say for the record that there is one sure fire way to annoy me good and proper, and that is to be a TV food show presenter who doesn't even attempt to say a Greek name but just takes the piss, even though the French and the Spanish names were attempted without fuss. Seriously, if you can’t say it, then don’t bother, use the English version - but don’t make a bunch of noises and then pull a face. Yes, Amanda Lamb, I am looking at you.
I saw this recipe on Market Kitchen, back in the heady days when Mediterranean food didn't just mean Italian and Spanish, it included many other countries, and it also meant that the utterly delectable Tonia Buxton was on the show a lot more. That lady is fabulous and, unlike many other celebs, answers her emails when you write to say thank you. Nigel Slater does too.
I watched Tonia cook this and then went straight out and bought the things to make it. I was NOT disappointed at all.
Easy, very few ingredients and a fabulous dish to bung in the oven and leave to cook away on its own when you’re busy off doing other things.
1kg shoulder of pork, cut into fist size pieces - I used leg, less fatty.
1kg Cyprus potatoes peeled and halved if very large
olive oil, for drizzling
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cumin
3 onions, peeled and sliced lengthways
5 tomatoes (more if in season) sliced lengthways - I used a can of Italian chopped, as I had no fresh
Put the pork and potatoes in a large earthenware dish/ovenproof casserole.
Pour a good drizzle of oil in the dish and mix around well. Add the spices and mix again.
Lay the onions and tomatoes over the top pour over a little more oil and season.
Cover with foil and cook in a hot oven (200C) for around 1 hour, then lower the heat to 180C and remove the foil and cook for another hour till browned. Keep an eye on it to ensure it doesn’t burn. (This is what the original recipe said, but I cooked it in a pot with a lid, and kept the lid on until the last half an hour.)
Serve straight from the dish with a rocket salad they said but I served it with green beans. I loathe rocket!
It’s great on the day, but even better the next. The mix of cumin and cinnamon is quite a Middle Eastern flavouring, but then Tonia is a Cypriot, and many of our dishes have that Middle Eastern influence. Even the language does. When I was trying to learn Greek, my Athenian teacher would often tell me off because I used the ‘wrong’ word.
Not wrong, just Cypriot.