Pork Colombo is a classic Sri Lankan, West Indies dish. After the Sri Lankan plantation workers arrived in the French West Indies, they incorporated the local spices into their native curry blends, giving us what we now know as Poudre de Colombo or Colombo Powder, named after the capital of Sri Lanka.
Many Caribbean recipes use chicken, pork and lamb, cooked in a stew type dish. This recipe is along that same line with the spice blend to give it the distinctive flavor. You will find potatoes, carrots, onions and other root vegetables native to the area incorporated in the recipes of the region. While you can eliminate the sugar if you wish, it serves to give a touch of sweetness found in original recipes where they used sugar cane juice and other local forms of sugar, which was cultivated in the West Indies. It also helps to add a caramelized glaze to the pork for a very “island” flair.
If you are fan of curries, then this recipe might become one of your favorites. Check it out.
3 Pounds Boneless Pork Shoulder, cut into 2 inch cubes
4 Garlic Cloves Minced
½ Cup Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
⅓ Cup Sugar
¾ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 ½ Teaspoons Ground Allspice
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Large Onion, Chopped
2 Tablespoons Colombo Powder
5 Cups Chicken Stock
5 Carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch thick slices
3 Sweet Potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 inch chunks. (White potatoes can be substituted.)
2 Green Bell Peppers, Cut into 1 inch pieces with the seeds removed
2 Bay Leaves
1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
Cooked rice for serving
Place the pork, lime juice and garlic in a bowl. Mix all together to coat. Cover, place in a refrigerator and let marinate for 1 hour.
Combine the sugar, cinnamon and allspice in a medium bowl. After marinating, transfer the pork to the bowl with the spices and mix to coat. Let any excess marinate drip off first.
Heat the oil in a large Dutch Oven or heavy pot over medium-high heat. Brown the pork In small amounts. Transfer each batch to a bowl and cover to keep warm.
Once the pork is browned and in the covered bowl, dd the onions to the pot and cook for about 10 minutes until translucent and soft. Stir frequently, making sure they don’t stick. Add a bit of the chicken stock if they begin to stick. Once translucent and soft, sprinkle on the Colombo Powder and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir constantly so they don’t burn.
Transfer the pork and any juices back to the pot. Add the carrots, green pepper, sweet potato, bay leaves, thyme and chicken stock. Bring it all to a boil. Reduce the heat. Simmer for about 30 minutes with the lid partially covering the pot. Remove the cover and raise the heat to medium. Simmer another 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pork is fork tender. Remove the bay leaves and it’s ready to serve with the white rice.