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Eat Drink Walla Walla | Porco à Alentejana
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Porco à Alentejana

Porco à Alentejana is a traditional Portuguese dish that combines succulent pork with clams in a flavorful and aromatic sauce. This original version of Porco à Alentejana adds a unique twist to the classic recipe by incorporating additional ingredients and enhancing the depth of flavors.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 pound clams, scrubbed and rinsed
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)

Instructions:

  1. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the pork cubes and cook until browned on all sides. Remove the pork from the skillet and set it aside.
  2. In the same skillet, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the chopped onion and minced garlic until they become translucent and fragrant.
  3. Add the diced red and green bell peppers, along with the bay leaf, paprika, ground cumin, and dried oregano. Stir well to coat the vegetables with the spices and cook for a few minutes until the peppers start to soften.
  4. Return the cooked pork cubes to the skillet and pour in the white wine. Allow it to simmer for a minute or two, allowing the alcohol to evaporate and the flavors to meld together.
  5. Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth, cover the skillet, and reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer gently for about 30 minutes, or until the pork becomes tender and the flavors are well developed.
  6. Meanwhile, in a separate pot, bring water to a boil and add the clams. Cook them until they open, which should take about 5-7 minutes. Discard any clams that remain closed.
  7. Once the clams are cooked and the pork is tender, add the cooked clams and their juices to the skillet with the pork. Stir gently to combine, being careful not to break the clams.
  8. Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the dish and season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow it to simmer for an additional 5 minutes to ensure all the flavors are well incorporated.
  9. Remove the bay leaf from the dish and garnish with freshly chopped parsley.

Serve the original Porco à Alentejana hot, accompanied by steamed white rice or crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce. This flavorful and hearty Portuguese dish is a delightful combination of tender pork, briny clams, and aromatic spices that will transport your taste buds to the vibrant flavors of Portugal.

Wine pairing

For Porco à Alentejana, a traditional Portuguese dish that combines pork and clams in a flavorful sauce, I would recommend pairing it with a Portuguese wine to complement the flavors and enhance the overall dining experience. One excellent choice would be a bottle of Alentejo red wine, specifically from the Alentejo region in Portugal.

The Alentejo region is known for producing robust and full-bodied red wines that pair well with hearty and flavorful dishes like Porco à Alentejana. The rich and complex flavors of the wine can stand up to the bold flavors of the dish, creating a harmonious combination.

Here are a few options to consider:

  1. Alentejo Red Blend: Look for a red blend from the Alentejo region, which typically combines indigenous Portuguese grape varieties such as Touriga Nacional, Trincadeira, and Aragonez (also known as Tempranillo). These blends often exhibit dark fruit flavors, hints of spice, and a velvety texture that complements the pork and clams.
  2. Alentejo Alicante Bouschet: Alicante Bouschet is a grape variety commonly found in the Alentejo region. It produces deep, dark-colored wines with robust flavors of black fruits, hints of herbs, and a firm tannic structure. This wine can provide a bold and intense pairing for the dish.
  3. Alentejo Syrah: Syrah wines from the Alentejo region can also be an excellent choice. Alentejo Syrahs often showcase ripe berry flavors, spice notes, and a smooth mouthfeel. The fruity and peppery characteristics of the Syrah can complement the savory flavors of the pork and clams.