Carne de porco Alentejana - Pork and Clams Alentejana

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The other day when surfing the web, I ran across videos of a Portuguese chef and I realized how much my cooking was influenced by my years in Lisbon. Seafood, wine, lots of olive oil and great pork products make for savory rustic dishes. As astonishing as it may seem, the mix of meat and shellfish is a common theme, variations of which you find in Spanish and Creole cooking. Here in Brittany, you can find everything you need, and mixing pork and shellfish totally makes sense here.

This dish is a staple throughout southern Portugal. All you really need are good plump clams, a couple of nice pork tenderloins, some new potatoes and you are set. There are a few variations and you can use your imagination but we decided not to fool around, so this is pretty traditional. And – we weren’t disappointed!

- Marc 

Carne de porco Alentejana - Pork and Clams Alentejana

    • Servings : 4
    • Prep time
    • Cooking time:

     

    Ingredients

    • 2 pork tenderloins, about 600 grams
    • 1 kilo medium sized clams (manila or cherrystones will do) – make sure they are cleaned
    • 1 pound new potatoes
    • 30 ml olive oil for the marinade
    • 25cl dry white wine
    • 4 cloves of garlic
    • 20 grams of sweet paprika
    • 5 grams of smoked or spicy paprika (optional)
    • 10 grams of ground cumin
    • 3 bay leaves
    • Pepper
    • Salt *
    • 15 grams chopped fresh coriander
    • Vegetable oil – lard is traditional
    • To serve : Dill pickle, Capers,  Pickled onions

    * One tip, the clams have a natural brininess, so be careful with salt. Don’t add too much at the onset.

    Instructions

    Marinade

    1. Cut the pork into 2cm cubes
    2. Mix garlic, olive oil, spices, bay leaves, pinch of pepper, pinch of salt and white wine
    3. Add the pork to mixture, blend well and set aside in the frig (2 to 4 hours)

    Potatoes – you’ll need to do 3 or 4 batches unless you have a deep fryer

    1. Clean, but leave skins on new potatoes
    2. Slice about ¼ cm thick – slightly larger than a chip ( easier with a mandoline)
    3. Cover the bottom of a frying pan with 1 cm vegetable oil and heat until smoking
    4. Add potatoes slices and fry until golden; turn over
    5. When done – remove and let drip on a paper towel
    6. Repeat until done
    7.  Keep warm in oven

    Pork

    1.  Heat vegetable oil in pan
    2.  Drain pork from marinade
    3.  Sear the meat and cook through on all sides – about six minutes
    4. Add a bit more marinade and cook for 4 more minutes
    5. Set pork aside, leaving the cooking juices in the pan

    Clams

    1. Place the clams in the hot pan with the pork cooking juices
    2. Add a splash of white wine
    3. Cover and cook until the clams open – but are not over cooked (about 4-5 minutes)
    4. Finish up : add the meat back to the pan with the clams, add your freshly chopped coriander (leave some for the garnish). Blend well.
    5. Serve in a big platter with the potato chips and chopped pickles, capers, pickled onions… on the side.