Move over steak and lobster. The Portuguese culture know how to combine the best delicacies from both land and sea. Originating in the Alentejo region of southern Portugal, this dish is most commonly referred to as Carne de Porco a' Alentejana. It's a delicious stew of both pork loin and clams and an excellent introduction to Portuguese cuisine. You will see this on every menu in the Portuguese restaurants of New Bedford, Fall River and East Providence. So here's the recipe for you to enjoy in your home with family, friends and a 'Gansett!
2 ½ lbs. boneless pork loin, cut into 1 inch cubes
6 to 8 potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
2 tbsp. Portuguese pimento sauce*
1 cup dry white wine
2 large bay leaves, crumbled
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
15- 20 clams in the shell, scrubbed and purged of grit
Salt and pepper to taste
*Found in most supermarkets in Southeastern New England. You can also substitute it with your own homemade version using 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp. sweet paprika, 1 tbsp olive oil
1. Marinade the pork with the pimento sauce, wine, bay leaves, and garlic in a non-metallic bowl, overnight if possible.
2. Bake potatoes in one layer with a good drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper @ 425 C for about 30 minutes or until they look lightly brown and toasty. Alternatively, the potatoes can be deep fried; you’re choice.
3. In a large sauce pan, heat olive oil and add marinated pork and brown on all sides.
4. Remove pork from pan, and set aside. Add chopped onion and leftover marinade to the saucepan and sauté until onions are translucent. Add tomato paste.
5. Put the browned pork back in the saucepan and incorporate the onion/tomato mixture. Lower the heat and let the contents simmer.
6.Add the clams on top of the pork, distributing them as evenly as possible and cook about 20 minutes or until they open.
7. Arrange the baked (or fried) potatoes on a serving platter and pour the pork/clam mixture on top.
8. Garnish with sliced orange and lemon slices and freshly chopped cilantro.