Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Portuguese Surf & Turf - Pork and Clams

I am very fortunate to have some great neighbors on my block!  All different cultures that come together!  My kids grew up with theirs, and now that they are grown we don't get together like we used to.  We always helped each other in time of need and stop and chat we we see each other.

I had this dish from a Portuguese neighbor that has long since moved, but I'll never forget it.  It's one of the most traditional and popular pork dishes of Portuguese cuisine.

I bought 5 dozen clams for the Cuban Pig Roast.  I had one dozen left.  Lightbulb goes off!!! Pork and Clams.  I searched through quite a few recipes, chose the one that appealed to me the most and printed it.  I just happened to see Rosa's husband taking a walk by my house and I thought I would go visit her just to see if the ingredients in this recipe were similar to how she makes it.  Boy - what a shock!  In her broken English, she tried to explain to me how she made the dish.  We went down the list of ingredients.  White wine? - no I use Red.  Tomato Paste? - No.  She couldn't give me any measurements and had to open her spice cabinet to show me what to use if she didn't know the word in English.  She gave me some bay leaves from Portugal and told me to fold the bay leaf in half and peel down the stem - and to remove it .  "It's no good for you".  Her family spends four months - the entire summer back in Portugal.  They are leaving next week so I'm thrilled I got to see her so I could make this delicious dish!  It's a very simple dish - with great flavors.

Pork and Clams
Carne de Porco a Alentejana

  • 2-1/2 lbs. boneless pork loin, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 6 to 8 potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 Tbsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 15-20 clams in the shell, scrubbed 
  • Pickled Pepperoncini Peppers or Olives for garnish
Marinate the pork cubes with the wine, bay leaf, paprika, salt and pepper and garlic.
Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or even overnight if possible.
Bake potatoes in one layer with a good drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper at 425 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until lightly brown and toasty.
 Potatoes can also be deep fried; your choice.

In a large sauce pan, heat 2 Tbsp. Canola oil until just beginning to smoke.  Remove pork from marinade and reserve.
Brown pork on all sides over medium-high heat until all water is released from the pork and the cubes begin to caramelize.  About 10-15 minutes.
Add reserved marinade and bring to a boil.  Let cook about 5 minutes.
Add the clams on top of the pork; cover and cook until clams open up.  About 10 minutes.
If a clam does not open, remove and discard.
Arrange the baked potatoes on a serving platter and pour the pork and clam mixture on top.
Garnish with fresh parsley and pepperoncini peppers or olives.
~Rose Canha


  1. I love it when I find Portuguese Recipes on other sites besides mine! Adoro Carne de Porco Alentejana!

  2. Hi Rose,
    I tried this yesterday ! It works!
    My family like the portuguese surf turf pork and clams so much! Thank you for making me look like a professional cooker. :)
    Hey, do you mind submitting your photos to http://www.foodporn.net to make others hungry?
    You know it’s fun to do that. LOL. Hey, probably they would do this recipe too. :)


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