This month, countries around the world acknowledge Carnival, ostensibly the final fête prior to Lent, and a reason for people of all faiths to shake off winter’s gloom. Few parties are as freewheeling as the one in Limassol, Cyprus. The island nation comes together for 10 wild days of parades, feasts, wandering serenaders and masquerade balls. Revel like a Cypriot with this deeply flavored, wine-friendly dish.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, fat trimmed, cut into 1½-inch cubes
- 1 onion, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds, crushed coarsely
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 cups cooked rice, orzo or bulgur wheat, for serving
- ½ cup chopped cilantro or parsley, for garnish
In a Dutch oven or high-sided skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add pork in a single layer, cooking in batches, if necessary. Brown well on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add onion and garlic, and cook until soft and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
Add coriander, bay, wine and 1 teaspoon salt, and mix well, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 1½ hours, or until pork is fork-tender. Remove lid and, if necessary, let sauce reduce until thick and almost syrupy.
Remove bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over white rice, orzo or bulgur pilaf. Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley. Serves 4–6.
Made from an indigenous variety from the Pitsilia region on Cyprus, Tsiakkas Winery’s 2012 Vamvakada is a medium-bodied red, offering exotic blend of spicy currants, vanilla and dark forest fruits. It’s a delicious match with the pork dish’s savory, flavorful notes.