Carne Porco Alentejana (Pork and Clams Stew)

Alentejana Pork and Clams


  • 1 kg pork cut into 2 cm cubes
    100 ml dry white wine
    500 ml (2 cups) milk
    4 bay leaves
    2 tbsp olive oil
    4 garlic cloves, crushed
    8 escallops, thinly sliced
    200 ml vermouth
    1.5 kg clams purged
    375 ml (1½ cups) chicken stock
    1 bunch thyme, tied with kitchen string
    chopped coriander leaves and fried potatoes, to serve
    Roasted paste
    4 red peppers
    15 (about 1 bulb) garlic cloves, unpeeled
    2 tbsp olive oil


To make roasted paste, preheat oven to 200°C. Place peppers and garlic cloves on a greased oven tray and roast for 45 minutes or until softened and slightly blackened. Transfer to a bowl, cool slightly, then remove peppers and garlic skins.
Cut open peppers and remove seeds and juices. Process with garlic in a food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and cover with oil. Makes 1 cup.
Place pork in a bowl with white wine, milk, bay leaves, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp white pepper. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Drain, discard liquid and pat dry with paper towel.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Heat oil in a large ovenproof saucepan over high heat. Brown pork, in 2 batches, for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl.
Add garlic and escallops to the same pan and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes or until softened. Stir in ¼ cup paste, vermouth and pork. Transfer pan to the oven and bake, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until pork is tender. Add clams, stock and thyme, cover the pan and bake for a further 10 minutes or until the clams have opened. Remove bunch of thyme. Season, scatter with coriander and serve with fried potatoes.