Portugese Stew With Pork and Clams

I haven’t been to Portugal, but I sure do want to!  This aromatic braise melds fields, land and sea, in the most satisfying way.  Grab some crusty bread and you’ve got a fantastic meal.

Portugese stew 2

I had a few of these adorable baby Yukon golds at hand, along with some bell peppers that went in also ….. after all, a stew is intended to help you clean out the fridge!

  • 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 (or your favourite paprika)
  • 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

How to Make It

Step 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.

Step 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

Step 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.

Step 4

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

Step 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.

bread

My “no knead” bread was a gift with this stew, the perfect combo!

Make Ahead

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

Suggested Pairing

Robust Portuguese red.
Portugese stew 3

If you should be lucky enough, you will have friends with an amazing bonfire pit to sit around and enjoy your stew, dunking the crusty bread and sipping your beverage of choice.

I spotted this recipe just as we finished making our own Paprika – grilling or smoking, then drying a variety of peppers before grinding them up to enjoy all winter.  This was featured in Food and Wine Magazine, and I’ve copied it exactly as written.  On this particular day we were eating it the same day, so I had to skip the lengthy marinade, and just carried on as it is written, stirring the onions and garlic together after browning the pork.  Everything went into the oven and it wasn’t long before the most magical aroma was filling the house.  We then carted it off, with the bread, to enjoy at our friend’s house with a bonfire.

Pasta

Hand making your own pasta is a labour of love …. and tastes simply divine!

It helps if  you have pint size helper around….                  

1 cup all purpose flour

2 cups 00 flour

3 eggs

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

7 tbsp COLD water

Pulse the flour in a food processor a few times, to give it a little air, and fluff it up a bit.

In a measuring bowl combine eggs, oil and water – beating lightly.

Slowly pour the wet mixture into the food processor, while the flour is being aerated.  The mixture will form a ball, attached to the blade.  If this doesn’t happen, and the dough is wet and sticky, just add bits of flour until it does.  If the dough is too dry, just add water, 1 tbsp at a time until it forms a ball and holds on to the blade.

Turn onto floured surface and knead for a minute by hand.  The dough should feel soft, smooth and just a bit stretchy.  It is important to let it rest before shaping your pasta.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap.   If using within a few hours, just let it rest at room temperature.  The dough is good in the fridge for a couple of days, and can be frozen for up to a month or so – allow to defrost in the fridge then bring to room temperature.

When ready to roll, cut your dough into 6 pieces to make it easy to work with.  Keep the pieces you aren’t using either in plastic wrap or in a floured tea towel.  Working with 1 piece at a time, flour well, and roll through your pasta press at the largest setting.  Once you have worked it down a couple of settings fold in triple, and return to a large setting to run it through again.  This seems to knead the dough that little extra bit and makes it so tender.  Continue putting through your roller until you end up on about (on mine anyway) setting 3.  This works well for putting through the shaper to make spaghetti, linguine etc.  Make sure to flour well before putting through press – adding flour as necessary to make your dough easy to handle.

If you don’t have a pasta press you probably aren’t going to the trouble of hand making pasta … but if you are …. just use a rolling pin or wine bottle, whatever you have on hand and roll the dough until thin enough and cut into strips.  Really not hard!

Keep all the prepared pasta covered on a floured tea towel until ready to use.  Or if you have one of these handy drying racks you can put it to use – I used to have wooden spoons strung out all over the kitchen before I got this gadget from Hayley, Mike and Sloan.

 

Bring LOTS of water to a boil, then add 2 generous TBSP salt.  Stir in fresh pasta and cook pretty much just until it rises to the top – taste …

To serve, have your pasta sauce simmering away in a saucepan beside the pasta pot and gradually add the pasta to it – adding pasta water as necessary.  Stir the pasta through the sauce, taste and season as necessary with salt and pepper.  Finish with a grating of fresh cheese.

This is enough pasta to serve 6-8 people.

Here it is served my Italian Pot Roast …. look for that yummy recipe too!

Baking Powder Biscuits

Okay, here they are – by popular demand … my fantastic baking powder biscuits.  

Once you get this down pat you will rely on these biscuits for anything from a summer morning with fresh peach jam or a winter evening served with a family favourite – chili, soup, stew … every household has their own comfort dinner!

2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

4 tsp baking powder

Stir to blend and then with pastry blender, or 2 forks, blend in 1/2 cup cold butter (my tip: freeze the butter for 15 min ahead of time, and use the large holes on a box grater to grate the butter – instant flakes of butter)

Lightly beat 1 egg in a 1 cup measure, then stir in enough milk to reach the 1 cup mark.

With a fork, stir the egg/milk mixture into the dry ingredients – only enough to have it start to hold together.  Turn onto floured surface and … oh so gently … without overmixing … pat it together, and then into a solid shape, about 1 inch or so in height.  Using floured biscuit cutter (or your favorite glass) cut out shapes and place on floured baking sheet.

These are so flexible – if you want to add any herbs, or cheese – do so at the dry ingredient stage.  Go ahead and experiment – makes these your own family favorite!

To guarantee extra tall, fluffy biscuits, pop them into the fridge or freezer for a few minutes.  The combination of hot oven and cold butter creates magic!

Bake at 400 for 15 – 20 minutes (depending on your oven – check it at 15) until lightly golden and very fluffy!  Image