A magical but short trip to Portugal this past month inspired me to mix up this pork and clam medley for dinner last eve. After doing some research online, I learned that this yummy combination is a signature dish of the Alentejo region of Portugal. The sweet background of the pork and paprika mingle wonderfully with the saltiness of the clams. The pork, after cooked down, blends beautifully into the tomato making a thick delicious sauce. I added some simple roasted red potatoes, crusty crostini and a hearty bottle of red and we had a meal. Sighs of delight were heard all around the table – definately a hit! A delicious way to warm the soul this very chilly winter!
Portuguese-inspired Pork and Clam Stew
2 pounds boneless pork butt, cut into 1 inch cubes
For the marinade: (Marinate at least 6 hours if possible)
1 cup of dry white wine
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons sweet paprika
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
For the dish:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups of chicken stock
1 (14.5 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
2 pounds of small clams, scrubbed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (flat-leaf)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 large pan or Dutch oven (as pictured above), large enough to hold the entire dish
1. Place the cubed pork butt ino a non-aluminum container or large resealable plastic food storage bag. In a blender, combine the wine, lemon juice, paprika, garlic, bay leaf and salt. Blend until smooth. Pour over the pork. Stir to mix evenly. Cover the pork and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight (even better!)
2. In the Dutch oven over medium high heat, heat the olive oil. Drain the pork and reserve the marinade. Working in batches, brown the pork on all sides until brown – about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and set aside on a platter.
3. Once finished browning the pork, add the diced onions to the pan and cook until the onions are softened, stirring occasionally – about 5 or 6 minutes. Add the chopped garlic to the pan and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour into the pan, stirring to mix. Cook for about 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, diced tomatoes and reserved marinade. Cook until mixture comes to a boil.
4. Return the browned pork to the pan. Stir to mix. Cook until the mixture returns to a boil. Cover with the lid and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender and falls apart – around 1 1/2 hours. Check the mixture from time to time – feel free to add a bit more wine or stock if you want more broth.
5. Increase the heat to medium and add in the clams. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the clams open – about 10 minutes. Discard any clams that do not open.
6. Reduce the heat to low and sprinkle with the parsley and cilantro.
7. Serve and enjoy!!