Porco à Alentejana (Portuguese Braised Pork and Clams)


This simple braise is a mainstay along the coast of Portugal. With clams from the sea and pork from the nearby mountains, it speaks to the landscape, and diet, of Portugal itself. Its garlicky broth pairs well with crusty bread and dry Portuguese wine.

Portugese Braised Pork and Clams
Photo: Greg DuPree
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 50 mins
8 servings


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

  • 2 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided

  • 6 garlic cloves, divided

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 tablespoon Pimentón de la Vera dulce

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 medium-size (9-ounce) yellow onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and crushed by hand

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 2 cups chicken stock or lower-sodium chicken broth, divided

  • 2 pounds baby Yukon Gold potatoes, halved

  • 2 pounds Manila clams or cockles, scrubbed

  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

  • Lemon wedges and crusty bread, for serving


  1. Season pork all over with 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and place in a large ziplock plastic bag. Smash 3 garlic cloves, and add to bag with wine, bay leaves, and Pimentón. Seal and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove pork from marinade, and pat dry. Remove and discard garlic and bay leaves; reserve remaining marinade. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add half of pork, and cook, stirring once or twice, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer pork to a plate. Repeat with remaining half of pork. Chop remaining 3 garlic cloves, and add to Dutch oven with onion and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil; cook, stirring often, until golden, about 6 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, red pepper, and reserved marinade

  3. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring often, 3 minutes. Return cooked pork to Dutch oven; stir in 1 cup stock until pork is mostly submerged. Cover and bake in preheated oven until pork is fork-tender, 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours.

  4. Stir in potatoes and remaining 1 cup stock. Cover and bake until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.

  5. Transfer Dutch oven to stovetop over high, and add clams. Cover and cook until clams open, 3 to 5 minutes. (Remove and discard any unopened clams.) Season with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with lemon wedges and crusty bread.

Make Ahead

Pork may be prepared through step 3 and refrigerated overnight. Reheat before proceeding with step 4.

Suggested Pairing

Robust Portuguese red.

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