East Meets Portugal 'Alentejana' -- Pork and Clams East Meets West Style

  • Total: 2 hr 40 min
  • Prep: 2 hr 20 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

15 littleneck clams (plus a few extra in case some don't open)

1 tablespoon salt

1/4 cup corn meal

1 1/2 tablespoons garlic

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1/2 cup green zucchini, 1/4-inch dice

1/2 cup yellow zucchini, 1/4-inch dice

2 pounds pork brisket, 1/2-inch dice

2 tablespoons paprika

1/2 cup medium diced onions

2 tablespoons Chinese black beans, rinsed, drained and chopped

1/2 cup shaoxing wine

1 cup white wine

4 cups chicken stock

2 lemons, juiced

2 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 cups Idaho potatoes, 1/4-inch dice (square off the potato, no peeling necessary)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves

2 cups curry oil, to fry

2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 8-ounce portions

Canola oil, to cook

Salt and black pepper, to taste

CURRY OIL

1/2 cup curry powder

Water, to make runny paste

Pinch salt

2 cups canola oil

Directions

  1. Place the clams, salt and cornmeal in a bowl and completely cover with cold water. Let them soak and purge for 1 hour. Drain, rinse and set aside. In a hot saute pan, coat lightly with oil and saute half of the garlic and ginger. Add the zucchinis and caramelize, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan and add drained clams. 
  2. Deglaze with half of the wine and shaoxing and cover. Add a little water if needed if clams do not fully open. Once clams are open, set aside. (discard any that do not open). Keep liquid. Wipe pan out and coat with oil on high heat. Season the pork brisket with salt and paprika and brown on all sides. Add onions and caramelize. Add black beans. 
  3. Deglaze with remaining shaoxing and wine and reduce by 50 percent. Add chicken stock and half of the reserved clam juice. Check for seasoning and add more clam juice if necessary. Bring to a simmer and reduce by 60 percent. Check again for seasoning and add zucchinis and clams. Add lemon juice and whisk in butter. Check one more time for flavor. While the sauce is reducing, season the pork tenderloin with salt and pepper and sear in a hot, oiled pan. Brown well on all sides and finish in a 375 degree oven until medium, about 10 minutes. 
  4. For the potatoes, heat the curry oil to 375 degrees and first blanch the potatoes until lightly brown. This can and should be done in advance. Right before serving, fry again, this time until golden brown, drain well, season with salt, and toss with cilantro. (frying it twice produces a very crisp product).
  5. PLATING Using an o-ring in the center of the plate, fill with the pork sauce. Top with fried potatoes. Cut each pork tenderloin into 3 equal pieces and surround ring. Pull ring off and serve.

CURRY OIL

  1. Make a paste with curry powder, water salt and slowly add oil. Let stand for 1 hour to settle. Use top, yellow oil for garnish or frying.

Cook’s Note

Wine Suggestion: McGuigan Brothers Personal Reserve, Shiraz, South Eastern Australia, 1996.

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