This casserole improves in flavour if made a day in advance. It can be kept, covered, in the refrigerator overnight.
Use lean spare-rib chops for this dish, not the spare ribs used in Chinese cooking.
750 - 850 g (1 1/2 - l 3/4 lb) pork spare-rib chops, trimmed of bone and fat and cut into small cubes
15 g (1/2 oz) lard
1 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)
1 - 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large green pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
400 g (14 oz) can tomatoes
100 g (4 oz) button mushrooms, quartered
2 teaspoons cornflour
1. Melt the lard in a large flameproof casserole and fry the pork cubes over brisk heat for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Lower the heat, add the onion and garlic, if using, and cook for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent.
2. Sprinkle over the sweet paprika and thyme and season to taste. Stir in the green pepper, tomatoes and mushrooms and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently for 1 hour or until the pork is tender, stirring occasionally.
3. Mix the cornflour to a smooth paste with a little cold water, stir in a spoonful of the hot liquid from the pork, then stir this mixture back into the pork. Bring to the boil, stirring, then simmer for 1 - 2 minutes until thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve at once, straight from the casserole.
Boiled noodles or potatoes plus a bright coloured vegetable such as carrots or broccoli, are good accompaniments to this casserole.
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