Citizens, Carne de Porco à Alentejana is one of the most traditional and popular pork dishes of Portuguese cuisine. It is a unique combination of seasoned pork and clams, served with potatoes and cilantro.
The recipe is typical of the Algarve region in Portugal, even though the name is Alentejana (from Alentejo). It was added because Alentejo is very known for their pork. Algarve pork however, did not have the same good reputation and the local citizens wanted to increase the national respect for their creation.
In this recipe, pork is marinated for hours in white wine, paprika, chopped garlic, bay leaf, salt and pepper. It is then fried until golden brown, at which point clams are added and cooked for an additional few minutes.
Traditionally this dish is served with cubed fried or baked potatoes. My version of the recipe adds both black and green olives and a bit of pickled vegetables for extra tang as well as some chili flakes for heat.
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
- For pork marinade:
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
- 2 Cloves (the spice)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup Portugeuse white wine
- 2 bay leaves
- pinch of salt
- 2 lbs boneless pork loin, cubed
- For stew:
- 4 oz lard
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ cup Portugeuse white wine
- 2 lbs small Cherrystone clams, scrubbed clean
- ½ cup mixed black and green olives, pitted
- ½ cup pickled vegetables (giardiniaira) – this is not traditional in the classic Portuguese recipe but is common in Portuguese-American diner versions. If you prefer the traditional recipe, increase mixed olives by ½ cup
- 1 tsp crushed dried red chili flakes
- 3 large potatoes, peeled
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- salted water
- 1 lemon, sliced into wedges
- Cilantro leaves
- In a bowl, make a marinade paste with the paprika, garlic, olive oil and salt.
- Place the pork into a large plastic zip bag or a deep bowl. Add the paprika and garlic paste to the pork and massage it into the meat with your fingers. Add in the bay leaves, cloves and the wine, remove the air from the bag and seal it or cover the bowl.
- Marinate 6 hours and up to 24 hours. The longer the better! Be certain to stir the meat or massage it in the bag every so often.
- Place the clams in a bowl with cold water plus 1 tsp sea salt and an optional small handful of cornmeal. Let them sit for about 1 hour in the refrigerator so they expel any sand out of them.
- Heat the lard in a deep pan over high heat. Add in the marinated pork, reserving the marinade for later. Brown the pork on all sides in a single layer, cooking it in batches if needed.
- Strain the marinade (discarding solids) and add, stirring so that the pork is covered in the sauce.
- Scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Reduce heat to low and cover with a lid to allow to barely simmer for 1 ½ hours, checking occasionally.
- Cut the peeled potatoes into 1 inch by ⅓ inch thick pieces and put them into a pot of salted water and place on the stove. Bring the water to a boil and allow to boil 5-7 minutes or until the outside is cooked, but the potatoes are still firm.
- Transfer the potatoes to a bowl of cold water to cool, then drain of excess water.
- Heat olive oil in a clean pan over medium-high heat. Add in the potatoes and cook until golden brown all over and tender in the middle, about 7-10 minutes.
- In the meantime, make another sauce with the tomato paste, wine, oil, garlic, onion, parsley, chili flakes, salt and pepper, simmering it all for 6 to 8 minutes.
- Remove the clams from their water bath and place them in the sauce over low heat. The clams should open after a couple of minutes. Remove those which do not open and discard.
- Shake the pan, add olives (and optional giardiniaira) and transfer the clams to the top of the meat. Cover. Boil gently for 3 minutes.Place potato in a soup plate or shallow bowl with plenty of the pork and clams on top and lots of sauce.
- Add wedges of lemon and cilantro leaves for garnish and serve with crusty Portuguese bread.
Citizens, please note that I can no longer afford to absorb the nearly $1000 per month it costs to keep the site running smoothly, including marketing expenses, etc.
You can make a difference!
Please consider making a one-time donation to help keep the site live and the posts coming – click here to PayPal Me a tip!
You can also show your support by listening to our podcasts, liking them, and sharing as you see fit – try them out here.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?