Braised Pork with Clams


George Mendes updates this classic Iberian combination by adding pickled vegetables. At Aldea, he makes his own pickles a day in advance; the version here calls for giardiniera, the jarred pickled-vegetable mix.

Braised Pork with Clams. Photo © David Malosh
Photo: © David Malosh
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 30 mins


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 1/2 pounds trimmed boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced

  • 1 celery rib, thinly sliced

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 4 thyme sprigs

  • 4 parsley sprigs, plus 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 1/2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed

  • 1 cup jarred pickled Italian vegetables, drained and coarsely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. In a large, deep ovenproof skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Season the pork with salt and pepper and add it to the skillet in a single layer. Cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until the pork is browned, about 12 minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate. Add the onion, carrot and celery to the skillet and cook over low heat until softened, about 5 minutes.

  2. Stir in the tomato paste and return the pork to the skillet. Add the wine and cook until evaporated. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Using kitchen string, tie the thyme, parsley sprigs and bay leaf into a bundle; add the bundle to the skillet. Cover tightly and braise in the oven until the meat is tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

  3. Return the skillet to the stove. Discard the herb bundle. Simmer the pork uncovered over moderate heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Arrange the clams in the liquid, cover and cook until they open, about 6 minutes. Transfer the pork and clams to bowls and ladle the braising liquid on top. Garnish with the pickled vegetables, chopped parsley and cilantro and serve right away.

Suggested Pairing

Robust Portuguese red.

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