Afelia – Pork Braised with Red Wine and Coriander Seeds

Afelia - Pork braised with red wine and coriander plate

Afelia is a classic Cypriot dish of pork marinated and braised in red wine and coriander seeds. With the short ingredient list (the only other items are olive oil, salt, and pepper), it’s as easy as braising gets.

The coriander seed is a mild spice that adds a sweet citrus note. It is used extensively in traditional Cypriot and Greek fare. Any dish prepared à la grecque (in the greek style) is almost guaranteed to have some.

The braising liquid of red wine and crushed coriander seeds gives the pork a subtle sweetness and sourness. Most afelia recipes call for coarsely ground coriander seeds and no straining. The grittiness may seem distracting at first, but I find that it contrasts nicely against the tenderness of slowly cooked pork.

recipe adapted from Diane Kochilas’ The Food and Wine of Greece
Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Cheryl

Pork Braised with Red Wine and Coriander Seeds

makes 4 to 6 servings
start the preparation one day in advance

Afelia - Pork braised with red wine and coriander seeds
Coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle.


2 pounds pork shoulder, sliced into 1 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups dry red wine
2 heaping tablespoons whole coriander seeds
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Crush the coriander seeds right before using. It rapidly loses aroma once ground.


  1. Marinate the pork. Put the sliced pork in a bowl and add 1 1/2 cups red wine. Coarsely crush 1 heaping tablespoon of coriander seeds and mix with the pork and red wine. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  2. Braise the pork. Remove the pork from the marinade and pat dry. Reserve all of the marinade.
  3. In a heavy pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Lightly brown the pork on all sides, a few pieces at a time if necessary.
  4. Pour the marinade along with the remaining 1/2 cup of red wine and just enough water to barely cover the pork. Season lightly with salt and pepper, keeping in mind that the braising liquid will be reduced. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover and braise for about 2 hours, or until the pork is fork-tender. Add more water during the braise if necessary.
  5. About 20 minutes before removing the pork from the heat, coarsely crush the remaining 1 heaping tablespoon of coriander seeds and sprinkle over the pork. Reduce the braising liquid until thick.
  6. Serve hot with crusty olive bread. Also try Ivy’s version cooked with potatoes.

Afelia - Pork braised with red wine and coriander

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93 Responses to “Afelia – Pork Braised with Red Wine and Coriander Seeds”

  1. Ivy says:

    Thanks for adding a link to my post. Yours is the classic Cypriot recipe as it should be and it sounds delicious. I have made another twist to the classic recipe using mushrooms, served with bulgar pilaf.

    Just for info I would like to make a small correction that coriander is widely used in Cyprus but in Greece they hardly know the spice.

  2. noble pig says:

    wow it looks amazing…the color!

  3. Gretchen Noelle says:

    This does sound delicious!

  4. Pigpigscorner says:

    oo coriander seeds! Must be bursting with flavours! Looks really delicious.

  5. marguerite says:

    That looks fabulous and so easy! The bread also amazing!

  6. Leela says:

    That looks so good. :) I’m thinking of going rogue and use pork belly .. but that wouldn’t be authentic, would it? Dang.

  7. Manggy says:

    That is one short ingredient list! I have a huge bottle of coriander seeds that needs using, this looks like a great way to do that! :)

  8. lisaiscooking says:

    Interesting. I’ve been enjoying learning more about Greek food lately. I like that the coriander seeds are crushed a bit rather than left whole.

  9. Joelen says:

    This looks absolutely delicious!

  10. Zoë François says:

    I am starving for this! I must make this for dinner. Gorgeous!

  11. Mike says:

    That’s a beautifully simple list of ingredients but I can imagine how it tastes. Slowly cooked pork does best with little in the way and it looks fantastoc

  12. Peter says:

    Coriander seeds are known to Greeks, not as well used as some other spices.

    Love the look of the deep brown meat, red wine helping things along. Here-here for Cypriot food.

  13. [eatingclub] vancouver || js says:

    Delicious! And the bread looks marvelous!

  14. Carolyn Jung says:

    I love coriander in pork stews. I bet some orange zest would be a nice addition, too.

  15. Haley W. says:

    This looks delicious. I love the flavor of coriander, and slowly braised pork shoulder is such a meltingly tasty food. Wonderful!

  16. dhanggit says:

    i must admit that coriander is one spice im not so comfortable using in the kitchen. i cant wait to try this recipe of yours in pork…makes me drool :-)

  17. grace says:

    ah, coriander. i’ve started popping the seeds into my pepper grinder–it’s a lovely surprise every time!
    great dish, jude–gorgeous and healthy and TASTY.

  18. CookiePie says:

    That looks delicious and so exotic!

  19. The Duo Dishes says:

    Making us hungry! The aroma must be amazing.

  20. justine says:

    i love corriander so i can’t wait to try this!

  21. MyKitchenInHalfCups says:

    Most wonderful flavors, gorgeous looking meat.
    Hot Olive Bread . . . I’m on my way over . . .

  22. Girl Japan says:

    This dish looks absolutely simple yet divine! Goodness I can only imagine the savory smells, again kudos on the fab recipe and posting!!!

  23. Cynthia says:

    Today is one day I am not leaving here hungry and jealous because I have some char siu in the oven as I write this :)

  24. snooky doodle says:

    wow really interesting recipe. the spice and wine must give an interesting flavour yummy

  25. Caitlin says:

    Lucky me – I’ve got some pork shoulder sitting around without a home. I do believe this is where it’ll go.

  26. Weekend Herb Blogging-170 Roundup « Gluten Free Goodness says:

    [...] of Apple Pie, Patis and Pate shares his Afelia – Pork Braised with Red Wine and Coriander Seeds. This classic Cypriot dish gets much of its flavor from the overnight marination and coriander [...]

  27. Susan says:

    There’s nothing like freshly ground coriander seeds. Gorgeous marinade! Nice photos.

  28. Sarah says:

    Sunday night dinner here I come!
    Thanks for the constant inspiration.

  29. natalie says:

    don’t eat pork but would probably be nice with beef nonetheless. and coriander sounds great, could use a hint of lemon zest to add that tangy tang!!!

  30. SJ says:

    Any ideas on what to do if there’s a lot of goopy stuff (from the pork) floating to the top of the braising liquid? What causes that anyways? When I make carnitas (also from this site’s recipe) that’s not such a problem, because it fries away at the end.

  31. SJ says:

    Ok, finished cooking this today. Used a cote du rhone for the wine, served with rosemary olive bread. Although the flavors were unusual to my fiance and me, we weren’t crazy about it. Not bad, but I won’t be making it again. Next time I feel like braised pork I’ll stick to carnitas and salsa.

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