Thursday, November 11, 2010

Portuguese Pork and Clams Alentejo-Style

I have to say that this is by far one of my favorite Portuguese meals. I think that that is the best way to describe this dish is to call it a 'Portuguese Surf & Turf'.

Carne à Alenteja is a dish from the southern Alentejo province of Portugal, which is known for it's cooking and great wine selections. The dish is something that is simple to make and would leaving your guests thinking you spent all day in the kitchen. It is a true winner in our home and is something that I will continue making for years to come.

A few things you might want to keep in mind when making this dish is small clams are better since they cook faster and usually taste better. And of course fresh clams are always best.

Also another thing that you might want to do is marinate the pork over night. I think that the meat is more tender and is pack full of flavor. If you do try this recipe please let me know how it comes out. I would love to get some feedback.

Like always Happy cooking!

Adapted from The Portuguese Homestyle Cookbook

Original Recipe Yield 4 to 6 servings

1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 teaspoon paprika
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 cloves garlic minced (we like garlic you could use half the amount if you like)
1 bay leaf
2 pounds pork loin, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
2 tomatoes - peeled, seeded and chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
24 small clams in shell, scrubbed
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


In large bowl, combine wine, paprika, salt and pepper, blend well. Add garlic cloves, bay leaf, and cubed meat, turn meat in marinade to coat pieces. Marinate for 6 hours, turning occasionally.

Drain pork; reserve marinade. Pat cubes completely dry. Discard garlic and bay leaf. Melt 1 teaspoon of oil in large skillet.

Add pork cubes, stirring frequently so that the meat colors quickly and evenly. Transfer with slotted spoon to a bowl.

Pour reserved marinade into skillet and bring to a boil over high heat, scraping off any brown particles clinging to the inside of pan.

Boil briskly uncovered until marinade is reduced to 1 cup. Pour over pork and set aside.

In 6 to 8 quart pan, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil; add onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently until onion is soft but not brown. Add garlic, tomatoes and crushed red pepper. Simmer, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.

Spread the clams, hinged side down, over the tomato sauce; cover the pan tightly and cook over medium to high heat for ten minutes or until clams open.

Stir in reserved pork and juices. Simmer for 5 minutes to heat thoroughly.

Sprinkle with parsley.

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