Afelia is a Cypriot speciality of pork loin marinated in red wine and coriander seeds, creating a unique flavour. I have memories of eating this at my Yiayia’s London home as a child. It was part of the ritual of my visits to turn up at her house, get a kiss (that I would immediately wipe off with the cute indignation that only a six-year-old can pull off) and scamper through the legs of giants straight to the fridge, pull the door open with both hands and then just stand and stare; gazing into the cold wondering what treasures lay within. Afelia was one such treasure. My Yiayia pan-fried pork loin, my version is slow-cooked using the shoulder. It takes longer, but the prize is tender meat in a rich stew.

1 kg/21/4 lb. skinned pork shoulder, cut into large chunks
500 ml/2 cups good red wine
2 dried bay leaves
1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
1 tablespoon Greek honey
salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil, for frying
a handful of freshly chopped
flat-leaf parsley, to garnish
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted and coarsely crushed, to garnish
sea salt flakes, to serve
boiled rice or crusty bread, to serve


Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F) Gas 4.

Cut the pork shoulder into chunks the size of golf balls. Place in a bowl with the red wine, bay leaves and the whole coriander seeds. Place in the fridge to marinate for anything from 30 minutes to overnight.

When you’re ready to cook the pork, remove the pork from the marinade (reserving the marinade) and pat it dry. There will be coriander seeds stuck to the pork and that’s fine. Season the meat well. Heat a little oil in a lidded ovenproof pan and pan-fry the pork in batches over a high heat to brown the meat.

Put all the meat back into the pan, pour in the marinade, add the honey and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook in the preheated oven for about 11/2 hours.

When you remove the pan from the oven, the sauce will look a little dull in colour. The magic happens when you place the pan back on the hob/stovetop and bring it to a simmer on a high heat for a few minutes. The sauce will reduce a little, thicken and become much glossier.

Serve garnished with the chopped parsley, the toasted and crushed coriander seeds and a pinch of sea salt fl akes. I usually eat this with some plain boiled rice or crusty bread to offset the richness of the dish.


Credit info:


Orexi! Feasting at the Modern Greek Table