Alentejana-Style Pork and Clams: Part 2

by Janice

The clam meat is juicy and plump. The pork is so tender, it cuts with a fork. The potatoes are golden and crisp and the broth– SPECTACULAR! When eating this, I dig in for the clams first, then the pork. The cilantro gives the meaty meal a refreshing brightness to the dish. It is my personal opinion that you cannot have too much cilantro—EVER. It compliments the broth so well, I end up slurping the remainder out of my bowl. I’m not sure if that’s customary or not, but I know it was delicious. :)

I ended up adding nearly 4lbs of clams since it is another one of my personal beliefs that you can never have too many clams.

This dish takes a while to assemble, first with searing the meat in batches, the prep of the other ingredients and then the full cook-time. Unfortunately, it went down the hatch quicker than it was assembled (about two minutes), but it was worth it. As mentioned in my previous post, I first experienced this dish at Fernandes Steak House in Newark, NJ.

This recipe comes close, really close, to their version.

Alentejana-Style Pork and Clams

1 3-pound boneless pork shoulder or butt, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup dry white wine, I used vermouth
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow onions, roughly chopped
3 (I used 4) pounds small clams such as Manila, well scrubbed
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Rub pork in the Amped Up Red Pepper Paste, add a cup of dry white wine (dry vermouth works well too) and marinate for 24-36 hours.  Then drain the pork, reserving the marinade. Pat the meat dry with paper towels.

**Note: patting the meat dry is important to achieve a nice sear.

2. In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Working in batches, brown the pork cubes on all sides until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate.

3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onions and saute until soft, 8-10 minutes. 4 cloves garlic and cook, stirring occasionally about 5 minutes. Add the browned pork to the onion mixture along with the reserved marinade, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the pork is tender, about 1 hour. Check from time to time and add more wine if it’s looking too dry.

4. Add the clams, discarding any that are open or have broken shells, cover, raise the heat to high, and cook until the clams open, about 5 minutes. (Toss any clams that failed to open.)

5. Transfer the pork and clams to a serving dish and sprinkle with the cilantro and parsley and devour immediately!

One Comment to “Alentejana-Style Pork and Clams: Part 2”

  1. Again not a clam person, however I must say this has got my mouth watering! Next time you make it I’m bringing dessert! lol

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