Pork Afritada

Pork Afritada is simplest Filipino style tomato based stew, it is usually made out of pork, potato and carrots cooked slowly on tomato sauce with herbs and spices.

Pork Afritada 1

Afritada, Kaldereta, Puchero, Mechado and Menudo what’s the difference between them? Though for non-Filipinos this might be confusing as they nearly look alike visually and they are all stews where tomato sauce is used as a main ingredient. To clarify them once and for all this is how I think they are differentiated from each other.

  • Afritada – The simplest tomato based stew of all in this list, it is usually made out of chicken or pork, potato and carrots.
  • Menudo – Nearly similar to afritada but sauce is thicker, only pork is used sometimes together with liver. Ingredients are also cubed into smaller pieces compared everything else on this list.
  • Kaldereta – This is the hot and spicy variation of the afritada, beef and goat is the most common meat used. Some special varieties adds cheese and/or liver spread into the sauce.
  • Mechado – Similar to afritada but a special meat is used. It uses beef stuffed with a thick pork fat in the middle which in turn adds more flavour to the meat at the same time helps it to be moist and tender.
  • Puchero – This I guess is the most different of them all, usually beef and chicken are used but instead of carrots and potatoes, cardaba bananas and beans (white beans, garbanzo beans) are used. This also tend to have a sweeter taste.

I hope I had explained it correctly and if someone knows better please let me know what I missed out, I am happy to change their descriptions. Take note these are the bare basics of each dish, each Filipino family definitely cooks them differently from each other like adding special ingredients to make it taste better and stand out from other versions, some examples are raisins on Menudo, lemon juice on Mechado or Sweet Potatoes in Puchero. If you have some special ingredient to share let us know as well, I am happy to try them out.

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Pork Afritada

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 8 reviews
  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Filipino


Pork Afritada is simplest Filipino style tomato based stew, it is usually made out of pork, potato and carrots cooked slowly on tomato sauce with herbs and spices.


  • 1 kg pork shoulder
  • 1 large potato, cubed
  • 1 large carrot, cubed
  • 1 large red capsicum (bell pepper), cubed
  • 200 g brown mushrooms
  • 400 g tomato puree
  • 2 1/2 cups pork stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 pcs bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried sweet basil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • oil
  • fish sauce or sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a pot add oil then sauté the garlic and onions.
  2. Add the pork and brown all sides.
  3. Add half of the tomato puree, pork stock and bay leaves, simmer for 35 minutes.
  4. Add the carrots then simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the potatoes, mushrooms, tomato paste and remaining tomato puree simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Add the capsicum, season with fish sauce/sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve.



11 Responses

  1. Wow, I had no idea there was such a difference between all these. This dish looks wonderful and I wish I had a bowl and a spoon right now.

  2. The food really looks delicious. Like Maureen, I have no idea about the difference among the foods you listed. My husband just cook them and we call it Afritada in different flavors. Thanks, again.

  3. A hearty stew by any name is comfort food that always satisfies. Looks delicious!

  4. The stew looks delicious! Thank you for enlightening me on the variations!

  5. nanayista says:

    From what I have been served here in Bulacan, there’s a version with beef, peanut butter, coconut milk (gata) and tomato sauce. I think its caldereta… Or mechado. I’m sure its not karekare.

  6. Medeja says:

    All these veggies, mushrooms and pork look so delicious! Real comfort food!

  7. Next to chicken afritada, this is my next favorite. Looks really good Raymund. :)

  8. mjskit says:

    This is a delicious looking stew!!! Love all those goodlooking veggies, especially the mushrooms with pork shoulder. Great comfort food!

  9. Dan says:

    Your recipe looks delicious. You might consider adding green peas to your Afritada. Thanks for the recipe and information about variations.

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