Portuguese Pork and Clams
This recipe originated in the Alentejo region of Portugal. It's a romantic wine region that stretches north to south. It's known for soft rolling hills, wild beaches, cork forests and olive groves. Dotted throughout the landscape are Arabic castles and medieval towns. Alentejo is a truly beautiful region seemingly trapped in time. I spent some time there a few years ago with my family and I have to say this was one of my most favorite dishes.
3lbs boneless pork cut in 1/2 inch cubes *I like to use pork belly if I can find it.
1 chorizo (cut into bite sized pieces)
1/4c olive oil
3 garlic cloves (crushed)
1 bay leaf
1 onion (diced)
1 dried red chili (crushed)
1tbs ground cumin
2 large tomatoes (Cut into bite sized pieces)
1 green pepper (Cut into bite sized pieces)
2c red or white wine
2lbs clams soaked and scrubbed
1 handful of fresh cilantro (chopped)
4c cooked rice
In a large bowl combine the wine, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic and bay leaves. Add the pork, give it a good stir and let marinate in the mixture several hours or overnight. Now, drain the pork but reserve the marinade.
In a large pot add the oil, onions, chorizo and pork. Sauté over high heat until onions are soft and pork is browned. Now add the tomatoes, chili, cumin and reserved marinade.
Cover and simmer until pork is tender, about 1 hour...or two hours if you have the time.
When the pork is tender add the clams and cover the pot to steam the clams until the shells open (about 8 minutes) Discard any unopened shells.
Place a few spoonfuls of rice into each shallow bowl and spoon some pork and clams on top (be sure to get some of the liquid) Sprinkle with cilantro and serve. Our family always has this meal with a loaf of fresh crusty bread to dip in the excess juices. YUM!