Portuguese Pork and Clam Stew


Serves: 4

Preparation time: about 60 minutes plus overnight marinating

Carne de Porco à Alentejana, a popular stew of pork and clams from the south of Portugal, the Algarve and Alentejo regions. A burst of flavors, a true representative of Portuguese cooking. The photo was taken from our holiday apartment on Madeira, where I cooked this dish.


  • 2 lb (900 g) of lean pork shoulder, cut into 2 inches (5 cm) cubes
  • 24 clams, cleaned and debearded
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil
  • 2 medium-size onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 thyme twig
  • 1 cup of dry white wine
  • pinch of hot chili pepper flakes
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 cups (900 g) canned plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (fresh coriander leaves), chopped


In a bowl, make a marinade with the white wine, bay leaf, thyme, chili pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Add the pork cubes and let it marinade overnight.

When ready to cook, remove pork from marinade and dry it well with paper towels. Save marinade.

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over high heat. Brown pork cubes all over. Set aside on towel paper.

Drain fat from pan leaving about 2 tablespoons. Add onions and sauté over medium heat stirring occasionally about 5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer for about 30 minutes stirring once in a while. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit of the saved marinade.

Place clams over the simmering pork, cover saucepan, and steam clams for about 3 to 6 minutes, or until they open. Taste for salt and pepper.

Serve pork and clams sprinkled with cilantro (fresh coriander leaves) accompanied by a crusty bread and a light, crisp white wine.

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