“Carne Alentejana is just like JELLO” my husband tells me;
“There’s always room for Carne Alentejana!” 🙂
Carne de Porco à Alentejana is one of the most traditional Portuguese dishes found on the menus of Portuguese restaurants through out the world. The dishes name, “Alentejana” meas that the dish comes from the Alentejo region of Portugal.
The origin of its name, “Além-Tejo”, literally translates to “Beyond the Tagus” or “Across the Tagus”. The region is separated from the rest of Portugal by the Tagus river, and extends to the south where it borders the Algarve region.
The name Carne de Porco Alentejana was to distinguish that the pork used in the dish is from that region of the country which produces the Black Iberian Pig. The meat from the Iberian pig has a higher fat content which produces a more tender and flavorful meat.
2 lbs pork loin (cut into 2 in cubes)
1 small onion chopped
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper paste
1 – 1 /2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 cup white wine or Vinho Verde
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons Piri Piri or Tabasco hot sauce
4 cups raw potatoes cut into 2 inch cubes
2 lbs small fresh little neck clams
1/2 cup pickled vegetables (Gardeneira)
1 chicken boullion cube
Chopped Cilantro for garnish (if desired)
Olives for garnish
Oil for frying
In a large bowl, season pork with; salt, garlic, bay leaf, paprika, cumin, red pepper, and 1/2 cup of the wine.
Stir well and let the meat marinate for at least 2 hours or leave overnight.
Before you begin cooking the pork, fry potatoes in hot oil until golden brown, season with sea salt and set aside.
Place clams in a bowl with cold water and 1 tsp sea salt. Let them sit for about 1/2 -1 hour in refrigerator so they let the sandiness out of them.
Preheat large skillet or wok on high heat with 1/4 cup olive oil and add onions.
Cook for about 1 minute then add the drained, marinaded pork mixture, (save the liquid). Let meat brown on all sides and cook for about 5 minutes.
Rinse and dry clams and add to the pork with 1/2 cup of wine, bouillon and the leftover marinade. (Add more wine if desired to make more sauce)
Cover and cook on med heat until the clams open.
Taste the pork and add more salt or Tabasco sauce if desired. Add the potatoes into the pork and stir gently. Add pickled vegetables, olives and chopped cilantro for garnish if desired.
Here’s a great video that shows you the classic step by step recipe that is similar to mine.