Braised Pork with Clams, Mariner's Style (Portugal)
- For the Marinade:
- 2 pounds pork butt, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 head garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- For the Pork:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons bacon fat
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 cup Piri Piri, recipe follows
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup tomato concasse (peeled, seeded, and chopped)
- 5 pounds clams
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Place the pork butt into a large resealable plastic food storage bag. In a blender, combine the garlic, salt, white wine, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, paprika, red pepper flakes and bay leaf. Blend until smooth and pour over the pork. Seal the plastic bag and set in a casserole dish and place in the refrigerator over night.
Set a large braising pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and bacon fat to the pan. Remove the pork from the refrigerator and drain, reserving the marinade. Sear the pork pieces in the hot fat in batches, until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn to the other side and sear for an additional 2 minutes. Remove the pork from the pan and set aside on a platter while you finish searing the remainder of the pork.
Once all the pork is seared and has been removed from the pan, add the onions to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook, stirring continuously, for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, Piri Piri, salt and reserved marinade to the pan and stir to combine. Continue to stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Return the pork to the pan and when the liquid returns to a boil, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Add the tomatoes and clams to the pan, stir to combine and cover. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook until the clams open, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the lid, reduce the temperature to low, and sprinkle with the parsley. Discard any clams that do not open, and serve the dish with French fries or steamed white rice.Piri Piri:
1 tablespoon, plus 1/2 cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic, smashed
4 cayenne chile peppers, stemmed, ribs and seeds removed, and rough chopped (or substitute other hot red peppers)
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat a small saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the pan. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and peppers to the pan. Saute, stirring often, until the edges of the garlic start to turn brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the lemon juice to the pan, and remove from the heat.
Place the contents of the saute pan in a blender and add the salt. Puree the peppers and garlic in the blender until mostly smooth. Drizzle the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil through the feed tube of the lid of the blender. Let cool before using, and store refrigerated in an airtight container.
Yield: 3/4 cup
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