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Carne de Porco à Alentejana

  • Author: Rochelle Ramos, adapted from The Food of Portugal by Jean Anderson
  • Total Time: 9 hours
  • Yield: 4 1x


This is a heavy Portuguese dish for lazy weekends when you have the whole day to dedicate to cooking and eating.



Pork marinade

  • 1 ½ tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 1/4lbs (1 kg) boneless pork loin, cubed
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves

Pork and Clams

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 23 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 ¼ lbs (1 kg) clams, scrubbed clean

Batatas Fritas (fried potatoes)

  • 3 large potatoes, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt
  • water


  • 1 lemon, sliced into wedges (optional)
  • Cilantro/coriander leaves (optional)


  1. In a bowl, make a paste with the paprika, garlic, olive oil and salt.
  2. Place the pork into a large plastic zip bag or a deep bowl. Add the paprika and garlic paste to the pork and massage it into the meat with your fingers. Add in the bay leaves and wine/vinegar, remove the air from the bag and seal it or cover the bowl. Allow to marinate at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours. The longer the better! Be certain to stir the meat or massage it in the bag every so often.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a deep pan over high heat. Add in the marinaded pork, reserving the marinade for later. Brown the pork on all sides in a single layer, cooking it in batches if needed. Transfer cooked pork to a clean bowl.
  4. Once all the pork has been browned, reduce the heat to medium low and toss in the onion and garlic and allow to brown lightly, about 2-3 minutes. Pour in the the wine and scrap any bits off the bottom of the pan with a spatula. Stir in the tomato paste and the reserved pork marinade and allow to cook about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the pork back into the pan, stirring so that the pork is covered in the sauce. Reduce heat to low and cover with a lid to allow to barely simmer for 1 ½ hours, checking occasionally.
  6. Once the pork is nice and tender, turn the heat up to medium-low and bring it to a gentle boil. Add the clams to the pot, distributing them evenly throughout. Cover and cook an additional 20-30 minutes or until the clams open.
  7. While the clams are steaming in the pork and sauce, prepare the batatas fritas.
  8. Cut the peeled potatoes into 1 inch by 1/3 inch thick pieces and put them into a pot of salted water and place on the stove. Bring the water to a boil and allow to boil 5-7 minutes or until the outside is cooked, but the potatoes are still firm.
  9. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl of cold water to cool, then drain of excess water.
  10. Heat olive oil in a clean pan over medium-high heat. Add in the potatoes and cook until golden brown all over and tender in the middle, about 7-10 minutes.
  11. Place potato in a soup plate or shallow bowl with plenty of the pork and clams on top and lots of sauce. Add wedges of lemon and cilantro leaves for garnish and serve with crusty Portuguese bread.
  • Prep Time: 6 hours
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Category: Main
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