Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Portuguese Pork with Clams: the "wow" factor!

I've been sitting on this recipe for about 2 months now. Hell, I've been sitting on a ton of new stuff to share that is backed up due to Colman's arrival 6 weeks ago and my resulting reduction of mental bandwidth. But motivation and clarity is slowly returning....you give anyone weeks of interrupted sleep and eventually it becomes the norm...so it's time to ramp this here blog back up, because as I said there is much edible delight to share (luckily my lack of motivation has not extended to the kitchen) including this definite "Wow!" dish from the always reliable "The Dean & Deluca Cookbook".

I knew I was serving up a heaping pot of goodness when bro-in-law Dave said, not once but two or three times, "This is so good!" This is meaningful because Dave is not someone prone to superlatives and overuse of exclamation style speaking (of course I have seen & heard him go gaga over his latest beer find, but that's a whole 'nother category of D-love). While a true appreciator of all of life's liquid and edible indulgences, he is also someone who doesn't waste a lot of words (unlike yours truly). So to hear praise like that from him I have to say was quite the coup. So if you have someone in mind who needs to shed their mantle of public propriety, then may I suggest you plop a bowl of this in front of them.....
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Portuguese Pork with Clams
from The Dean & Deluca Cookbook: "This fabulous specialty of the Alentejo region is cooked there in a special hinged copper pot called a cataplana; its beauty is that it can be turned on either side on top of the stove, which enables the cook to shake the clams in the pan so they open evenly. If you can find one, by all means use it to cook this dish. But if you can't, don't fret; proceed with a regular Dutch oven. The dish will be just as delicious. By the way, the Portuguese would use presunto (their cured ham) and chouriço (their spicy sausage) in this dish; you may substitute the more available prosciutto (Italian) and chorizo (Spanish). Serve with Portuguese bread, a green salad, and very cold vinho verde."

bb note: I served this with a spicy Spanish red garnacha (followed of course by another bottle...or two....). Nothing too heavy, and it was perfect. There aren't that many ingredients but a ton of flavor, so a more fruit-forward wine is the ticket. I think with spring/summer coming this would be absolutely stellar with several ice cold bottles of your fave dry rosé!

serves 6

1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/4 -pound boneless pork butt, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound onions, finely chopped
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and finely minced
1 bay leaf
28-ounce can tomatoes in tomato purée
1 cup dry white wine
2-ounce chunk of fatty prosciutto (top-quality not necessary)
6 ounces chorizo
72 small clams (preferably Manila clams or New Zealand cockles), scrubbed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1. Place the olive oil in a heavy Dutch oven over moderately high heat. Add the pork pieces and sauté until lightly browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add the onions, garlic, green pepper, and bay leaf, and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes more.

2. Add half the tomatoes with all their purée, breaking the tomatoes into small chunks with the back of a wooden spoon. (Save the other half of the tomatoes for another use.) Add 3/4 cup of the wine, and bring to a rapid boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
3. Cut the prosciutto into tiny dice, and add to the stew. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes more.

4. Add the chorizo to the stew. Cook, covered, until the pork is tender, another 15 to 30 minutes.

5. When almost ready to serve, add the clams to the pot, stir them into the tomato sauce, and sprinkle them with the remaining 1/4 cup of white wine. Increase heat to moderately high, cover the Dutch oven, and cook until the clams open. While the clams are cooking, grasp the Dutch oven with both hands and shake it a few times to move them around.

6. When the clams have opened, reduce heat to low, cover Dutch oven, and cook for 5 minutes more, allowing the clam juices to blend with the stew. While the clams are cooking, remove the chorizo, cut it into thin slices, and return to the Dutch oven. Taste sauce for seasoning. Sprinkle stew with cilantro and serve immediately in a large bowl.
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one year ago today @ E.D.T.: Eating PDX: 5 Guys Burgers; Spella Coffee; EVOE


diva said...

This looks delicious. High time I got myself some clams!

bb said...

If there was ever a reason to get all clammy, this is it! Good luck!!

Nico said...

Simple but packed with flavors. I like it! Inspiration for tonight :)

Quick question: what's your source for the (cooking) prosciutto? Most places I ask for the ends (such as PastaWorks) say they use it to make their to-go soups and have none for sale... Makes sense, but still ;-/

Also, I'm assuming that the chorizo is the traditionally Spanish cured one? (rather than mexican style fresh).


bb said...

Nico....I use the prosciutto I get from Provvista (the stuff I still have to order more of....I haven't forgotten). You can pick up cheap bacon ends at most New Seasons (not prosciutto but still okay I think). And it is the cured spanish chorizo, which i do get at Pastaworks Hawthorne.
let me know how yours turns out!

Nico said...

So I made this dish for dinner tonight. The flavors come together incredibly well, this dish is simply spectacular! I took the advice from some online resources to marinate the pork for a few hours in a mixture of white wine, smoked paprika, garlic, bay leaf and cumin. I deglazed the onions and bell pepper with the marinade, which I think gave the resulting broth an extra smoky punch. I omitted the prosciutto, and used some smoky chorizo that I picked up at the <a href="http://www.granvilleisland.com>Granville Island</a> public market in Vancouver, BC last weekend.

Thanks for the inspiration, I'm still savoring this dish with a few post-dinner sips of Eola Hills Pinot Noir!

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Clams and sausage! Looove!

bb said...

wc....you'll freak when you try this, then. Soooo good!

Nico said...
This comment has been removed by the author.