Pork with Clams Alentejo Style

Lombo de Porco com Amêyoas â Alentejana


Serves 8

Despite the unusual sounding combination of pork with clams, this is a very famous Portuguese dish. It requires an overnight marination of the pork in white wine, bay, garlic, and a pepper paste called mosso de pimentão. The pepper paste itself requires a day of resting to combine flavors, so plan accordingly. This dish is best eaten with crusty peasant bread to soak up all of the delicious sauce.

Chef Notes
To purge clams, scrub them under cold running water. Place in a bowl and cover with cold water. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon [15 mL] of cornmeal over the surface and allow to stand for 30 minutes. Drain well and proceed with the recipe.

Massa De Pimentão: Makes 1-3/4 cups [420 mL]

  • 3 large red bell peppers, fire roasted, seeded, peeled,
  •      and cut into 2-inch [5-cm] strips
  • 1 tablespoon [15 mL] sea salt or kosher salt
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup [60 mL] olive oil

Marinated Pork

  • 1-1/2 pounds [675 g] boneless pork loin or shoulder,
  •      cut into 1/2-inch [1-cm] cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup [60 mL] mosso de pimentão (see above)
  • 1 cup [240 mL] fruity, dry white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon [15 mL] cilantro stems, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon [3 mL] black pepper


  • 3 tablespoons [45 mL] bacon fat, lard, or olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons [25 mL] tomato paste
  • 24 small or 16 medium littleneck clams, scrubbed and purged (see Chef Notes)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sprigs of cilantro, for garnish
  • Crusty country bread, for service

Advance Preparation

1. Mix the pepper strips with the salt, place in a resealable plastic bag, and allow to stand for 24 hours at room temperature.

2. Place the peppers and garlic in the workbowl of a food processor and while the processor is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. (The massa will keep, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.)

3. Season the pork cubes with salt and pepper.

4. Combine the garlic, massa de pimentão, wine, bay leaf, cilantro stems, and black pepper and mix well to form a marinade. Place the pork in a resealable plastic bag, pour the marinade over the pork, and toss to coat the pork. Marinate overnight, refrigerated, turning occasionally.

Cooking Method

5. Drain the pork, reserving the marinade. Heat the fat in a heavy, nonreactive skillet over high heat and saute the pork cubes until evenly browned. Transfer to a platter and reserve.

6. Add the onion to the pan and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, or until soft. Reduce the heat to low and add the garlic and tomato paste. Add some water to prevent burning, stir well to incorporate, cover the pot, and sweat the onion mixture for 20 minutes.

7. Add the reserved marinade and the browned pork and simmer, covered, for 1 hour, or until the pork is very tender. (The pork can be cooked one day in advance.)

8. Add the clams, cover, and cook until the clams open, about 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


9. Serve about 1/2 cup [120 mL] of the stew and top with 2 or 3 clams, depending on size. Garnish with sprigs of cilantro and serve with slices of crusty bread.

  • from:
  • The Appetizer Atlas
  • A World of Small Bites
  • by Arthur L. Meyer and Jon M. Vann
  • Wiley 2003
  • Cloth; 624 pages; $45.00
  • ISBN: 0-471-41102-7
  • Recipe reprinted by permission.

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Page created 2003. Modified March 2007

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