As you all know after a very long illness, I am slowly coming out of it, for the first time in over a year I entertained, something I love doing.
Friends were invited over, the special plates come out & the Portuguese food was on show.
The dish I made was my friends favorite dish as well as mine, something he orders at every Portuguese restaurant.
Porco à Alentejana is one of the most traditional and popular pork dishes of Portuguese cuisine. It is typical from the Alentejo region, in Portugal, hence the word Alentejana (from Alentejo) in its name. It is a combination of pork and clams with fried potatoes and coriander.
Serves 4 - 6
- 1 kg pork shoulder or loin, cut into cubes
- 4 garlic cloves cut into slivers
- 2 tab massa de pimenta ( capsicum paste )
- 1 tab sweet paprika
- 1 tea chili paste (optional)
- 500ml dry white wine
- 1 tab salt
- 1 tea white pepper
- 4 bay leaves
- 1300 kg diced potato
- 100ml olive oil
- 1 kg clams
- 1 bunch coriander,chopped ( leave 1 tab for decoration)
- deep frying oil
1. Cut the pork shoulder into cubes. In a bowl add the garlic, capsicum paste, salt, bay leaves,paprika, chili paste & combine thoroughly, then add the white wine & leave to marinate a minimum 2 hours or over night.
2. Once the meat has marinated, drain the meat in a colander, keeping a bowl under neath so
the liquid is reserved.
3. Fry the potatoes in clean hot oil. Fry the potatoes in batches. Leave the potatoes to the side, until your ready to finish them off.
4. In a fry pan heat a bit of oil. Once the oil is hot add the pork in batches, adding the garlic, & fry for 3 min, stirring the pork, half way through add a bit of the reserved liquid allowing it to reduce for 3 min.
Remove the pork from the pan & set it aside in a bowl.
Then repeat the process until all the pork is cooked & the liquid is used up.
5. Reheat the deep frying oil & recook the potatoes, until crispy.
6. Add all the pork back into the pan, & on high heat add the clams, tossing them threw the meat.
Once the clams are opened add the coriander & half the the potatoes, tossing it all together.Taste for seasoning, add extra salt if it needs it.
7. Place the dish into a large serving platter & add the rest of the crispy potatoes on top, sprinkle a bit of extra coriander on top & serve.
- I used the imported capsicum paste, but you can use any, I blogged about capsicum paste last month, so look it up.
- Fry the meat in batches, leaving it slightly pink so as no to over cook it & dry it out. Once you reheat it, cook it a bit longer to cook it through.
- The reason I recook the potatoes is so that they crisp up & don't go soggy. It's called blanching.
- Any clams that don't open throw them out & don't eat them.
- Fry the meat in small batches otherwise the meat will stew & become tough.