Reunion Island smoked pork and eggplant stew
Here is a traditional main dish from Reunion Island to put some sun in our kitchen this Winter, it's called "boucané bringelles". Smoked pork in a spicy tomato sauce with egglplant, so comforting and so good.
The smoked meat they use there is called "boucané", it's dried, salted and smoked on a wooden fire. You can get pork, chicken boucané... etc. I find it in asian grocery store usually or on the internet !
For this recipe, get some regular boucané, not light, we need some good fat to make the sauce tastier and shinier.
Bringelles is simply the word in Creole for eggplant.
I'm not a big fan of eggplants in general but it's really tasty in this dish, with the smoked meat flavor and all the spices, it really makes it a great recipe. It's definitely a family-friendly dish, good to make when you're hosting. It doesn't take much time to make but it's a crowd pleaser.
For the rice, I use a rice-cooker because it's so much simpler but you can use a pot. Use the creole method of cooking rice, don't boil it like pasta. This way it won't be too sticky, overcooked, it'll be just perfect !
Reunion Island smoked pork and eggplant stew (serves 6) :
- 600 g regular pork boucané
- 2 large eggplants
- 3 tomatoes
- 3 onions
- 6 garlic cloves
- 30 g ginger
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 or 2 bird's eyes' chilies (optional)
- Vegetable oil
Put the boucané in pot of cold water, bring it to a boil. Let it boil 2 minutes, drain and cut into 2cm width pieces.
Peel the garlic and ginger. Using a mortar and pestle, add the ginger, garlic and chilies if using, turn it into a paste.
Cut the eggplants in two lengthwise and then in smaller pieces. Cut the tomatoes in small pieces.
Peel the onions and mince then thinly.
In a pot, heat a little bit of oil and fry the onion and boucané. Once the onions are translucent, add the garlic and ginger paste, turmeric and thyme. Fry it for a few minutes.
Add the tomates, mix well and cover for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the eggplants, mix well and cover for 15-20 minutes (or a little longer), stir regularly.
It's ready when the eggplants, onions and tomatoes have totally melted in the sauce.
Serve over basmati rice !