Pork “Alentejo style” (with clams)

 

This recipe besides has Alentejo on its name, some stories told that it comes from Algarve where it was normal, being Algarve a fishing region, in the beginning of the XX century that the pork was feeded with the rest of the fish( bones, etc) but because it taste a little bit..fishy it was added clams to cover the fishy flavor.With time and because the Alentejo pork were feeded with acorn being with more and better flavor, it was start using pork from Alentejo and people from Alentejo start using more and more becoming a dish Portuguese but close to the heart to the people from Alentejo.

Other story is that the dish comes from the Discovery times where it was normal to salt the meat to conserve it where at sea.Missing it that while in land it was added the clams to give the salty flavor necessary.

 

Along the country you can find the versions with clams ( Alentejo Style) and no clams ( Portuguese style).

I keep it with the original and do with the clams. I use also iberico pork but it’s okay to use white pork as long it has quality. Because the pork has to marinade it’s better count 24 h for this recipe.

 

Ingredients:

Makes 4

  • 800 gr iberico pork( something with less fat on it)
  • 500 gr clams( fresh are better. Frozen work just fine)
  • 0.2 lt of white wine
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 soup spoon of paprika paste
  • 1 soup spoon lard or P.O.D Extra virgin olive oil
  • coriander
  • 450 gr potatoes
  • Oil to fry

If you buy frozen clams just need to take them from the freezer to melt( to loose the water) before going to the pan. If fresh, put them in cold water for 2 hours and make sure they loose all the sand and dirt.

For the paprika paste it’s easy to do it even that it takes some time:

Roast 4 or 5 paprika for 40 min (20 min a side).

Take them out and let them cold. After, take the peel of them and with a food processor create a paste out of it.

Sieve it thru a clean cloth and let it rest for 24h. Next day add 1 spoon of salt to each 2 spoon of the paste and in the end mix it well and your paste is done.

Slice the garlic and add them with the meat(sliced in cubes) in a bowl with the paprika pate, bay leaf and the wine.Mix well and let it rest for 4 to 6 hours. Perfect if you let it rest overnight.

Put a frying pan to the stove and add the lard or olive oil. When it’s hot add the meat without the marinade( but don’t throw it away you can use it) to the pan and fry the meat for a couple of minutes.

In the meanwhile fry the potatoes (cutted in cubes) in oil.You can fry them thru if you want. I prefer to give them just a color to almost cooked and then add them to the meat.

Add the marinade to the meat and let the meat fry for more 8 minutes or till it’s cooked.

Add the potatoes and let them soak a little bit of the marinade.

Add the clams and let them be for 2 minutes while checking for salt and pepper( be careful with salt because the paprika paste it has salt enough) and turn the stove off.

Add the sliced coriander and enjoy