Pork and Clam Cataplana

This dish relies on a lot of good Portuguese olive oil; with the wine, it creates a delicious sauce to soak up with crusty Portuguese bread. This recipe originated in the southern Algarve region, where cooks use a special copper ban called a cataplana. Since few people in the U.S. have them, Emeril Lagasse suggests trying a deep skillet with a tight lid.

Plus: More Pork Recipes and Tips

  • Servings: 8

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  • 6 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 3/4 cup pure olive oil
  • 2 pounds boneless pork loin, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 3 pounds Manila clams or cockles, scrubbed and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

How to make this recipe

  1. In a mini food processor, combine the garlic with the paprika, crushed red pepper and 2 teaspoons of salt and pulse until finely chopped. Add 1/4 cup of the pure olive oil and process to a paste. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of pure olive oil and process until smooth. Transfer the marinade to a large bowl, add the pork and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally.

  2. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large deep skillet. Add the pork and its marinade and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the meat loses its pink color, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a large bowl, leaving the oil in the skillet. Add the onion to the skillet and cook over high heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and boil until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes.

  3. Add the clams to the skillet, cover and cook just until they begin to open, 3 to 4 minutes. Return the pork to the skillet, along with any juices, and cook until the clams are open and the meat is just cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve in deep bowls.

Suggested Pairing

The spices and clams in this pork dish suggest a smooth, well-rounded white with intensity but little oak. Try a Portuguese Chardonnay.

Contributed By Photo © Quentin Bacon Published November 2000

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