Saturday 25 July 2015


"Afelia". It sounds like "A failure", but I can assure you mine wasn't!

Afelia is actually a Greek / Cypriot dish made with pork, wine, onions and large quantities of coriander seeds. I didn't have any Greek wine, so I used some Chilean Carmenere, but I'm sure that any decent red wine will do.

This is just the sort of dish that I like cooking - simple, with few ingredients, but with a good effort-to-results ratio. Let me show you how I made it...

The first step is to crush a large handful (about 2 tablespoons) of coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar.

Cut a pork tenderloin (approx. 400g) into 1-inch thick medallions and coat them in the crushed coriander, add salt and pepper, then put them in the fridge to marinate for about four hours.

About two hours before serving time, start cooking. Preheat the oven to 160C. Peel and slice two large onions. Brown the meat in some vegetable oil in a hot casserole dish, remove and set aside briefly while you turn down the heat and soften the onions in the same pan.

When the onions are soft and translucent (but not brown), pour in 300ml of red wine and cook gently for a couple of minutes before adding back the browned meat.

Then cover the dish and put it in the oven to cook for at least an hour, until the meat is tender and most of the wine has evaporated. At one stage I felt that the dish was getting too dry, so I added some water, but then it seemed too wet! I think the amount of gravy / sauce in this dish is a matter of personal preference.

I served the Afelia with plain vegetables - home-grown potatoes and carrots, but shop-bought peas.

It's hard to describe how this dish tastes. The coriander seeds give it a sort of warm "burnt orange" flavour, and the red wine gives it a deep richness which is enhanced by the soft sweetness of the onions. Really nice - and so easy to cook!


  1. Hmm I wonder how it would work with chicken and white wine. I have a lot of green coriander right now and it sounds like it would be really tasty. But then everything is good with coriander.

  2. I'll be having a go at this recipe - all my leaf coriander goes to seed so this will be a good excuse to use it that way!

  3. Sounds lovely - so you are not allergic to coriander seeds?

    1. No, it's only the leaves that affect me. Strange, isn't it?

  4. Yum! I will have to give this recipe a try. I love it when you get a wonderful depth of flavor with so few ingredients.

  5. That sounds delicious! I'm always looking for quick (prep) recipes & do enjoy those that involve doing all the prep on the front end and then just plop it in the oven to do it's thing until dinner (which is always the most hectic time, it seems).

  6. That does look good.I am always trying to find different ways to use tenderlion so I will have to try this. Sarah x

  7. Interesting, kind of a variation on a daube. I have lots of coriander seeds ripening on the volunteers so this looks like a good way to use them.


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