January - Stew pork
January heralds the start of the Harvest festivals. Each village has its specific Harvest weekend and the people holding Harvest open their doors on the Sunday and cook their hearts out for any and everyone to come and eat and drink with them. Try the favourite way to cook meat, stewed but first fried in oil in which sugar has been burnt. Easily found in any local restaurant.
Meat: traditionally and most popular, local PORK!
Seasonings..thyme, garlic, shadon bene (or coriander), ginger, bayleaf, blended with a little water.
One cup coconut milk (see September)
One whole hot pepper.
Season meat and leave to marinade for a while. When ready, burn sugar in the oil and strain meat and seasonings and add to the hot oil. When browned all over, pour in coconut milk, the juice from the meat, along with a WHOLE hot pepper and cook until meat is tender. Season to taste.
Remember not to allow the hot pepper to burst and to remove it before serving. The other favourite ingredient in Harvest food is the smoke that gets into the food via the wood fire on which the food is cooked! In desperation you can always add a little ‘liquid smoke’!