I had a friend pop round to the garden yesterday afternoon and, as he left, he inquired what I was cooking for dinner. “A failure?”, he asked when I told him. I’m not sure how it is pronounced in Cyprus, where the dish apparently hails from, but I think I’ll aim towards a-FELL-ee-ah to make it clearer when talking about it in future.
I went even more off piste from my previous versions and, far from a failure, I think it was my best rendition yet. This time I used sliced pork shoulder rather than pork fillet and I the recipe benefited from the extra fat. I also took inspiration from a chicken dish I cooked last weekend and took the time to coat the pork pieces with flour, seasoned with a generous helping of paprika. It’s a bit of a messy job but that contributes to a thicker sauce. I’d already marinated the pork for a few hours in red wine with crushed coriander seeds, salt and pepper.
After browning the pork, I threw sliced onion into the same pan and, as it softened, added some chopped garlic. The pork was then returned along with the wine mix it had marinated in and the last scrapings from the flouring dish (note to self – would this be any different to just making up a seasoned flour paste and mixing that in the cooking pot?). It felt like it needed more liquid so I also added a tin of chopped tomatoes and then put on a slow braise with the lid on while I prepared some dry mashed potato to accompany it (butter but no milk, to help sop up the sauce).
I think it could have done with a bit more salt and pepper at the end of the cooking and, ideally, some kind of green leafy veg to serve up with it, but it was successful and I think I have this successful recipe well and truly in my repertoire now.