1/2 kilo pork, cubed (menudo cut)
1/4 kilo potato marbles, halved
about 6 medium tomatoes, diced
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic, chopped
dried chile pods (I used chile Arbol)
fish sauce (patis)
fennel seeds, about a pinch or two
black pepper, coarsely ground
cooking oil (I used canola oil because of its neutral flavour)
2 cups stock, chicken or beef
1. Brown the pork in a stew pot. Hold on to the spices for now-- don't put anything on the pork, just chuck it into the pot and cook until all the liquid evaporates and the fat starts rendering. A few brown pieces is good. Set the pork aside.
2. Using the same pot, heat up some oil fry the black pepper, fennel seeds, and dried chile pods until you start to smell them. Put in the onions and garlic and fry them until they release their aroma as well.
3. Chuck in the tomatoes. As they're frying (and releasing their lycopene into the oil, turning it red), mash the tomatoes so you'll get a light quasi-tomato sauce in the pot. Don't use canned tomato sauce as the tomato flavour will tend to overpower the dish-- nothing really beats beating fresh tomatoes into a pulp. Season with some fish sauce to taste and to add a slight fermented layer to the flavours. At this stage you can actually use this sauce on pasta.
4. Chuck in the pork and stir. Bring up the temperature in the pot and fry the pork in the sauce for a while. Then chuck in the potatoes and fry some more, stirring to make sure that the sauce/oil coats every piece of potato. Let it all fry on high for about five minutes until they're all happily blended.
5. Pour in the stock, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and let the pot simmer. Stir from time to time. Reduce the sauce to the desired thickness and turn off the heat.
Let it stand for about 15 minutes to let the flavours mature then serve with steamed rice.