There is an interesting story behind this dish. This dish originated in Algarve and not Alentejo. As the story goes, Alentejo had the best pork meat in the country, the pigs were raised on an a corn diet. In Algarve, the pigs were raised on fish leftovers and flour specifically made for the swine, where fish bones were incorporated in the milling process. That gave the pork meat a “fishy” flavour which was a dead giveaway as to where the the meat came from. One restaurant chef had the idea of incorporating clams when cooking the pork to mask the fishy taste the meat already had. People assumed the Alentejo style dish was made with Alentejo pork.
1 kg. boneless pork chopped into 2 cm cubes (pork loin or shoulder)
1 kg .baby clams
6 garlic, chopped finely
8 potatoes, peeled, cubed and fried
1 tbsp. pepper sauce
1 bottle beer
1 tsp. paprika
3 tbsp. oil
Parsley to garnish
Salt to taste
In a glass bowl, combine the pork, garlic, half the beer, salt, pepper sauce and paprika. Cover and leave to marinate for at least 8 hours. Heat the oil in a deep sauce pan. Let the oil come to a near-smoking point. Remove the pork form the marinade and add it to the saucepan in batches (reserve marinade), gently frying the meat until browned. Return all the meat to the pan, lower the heat to medium add the marinade mixture to the pan, along with the rest of the beer, cover and cook for about half an hour, or until the pork is tender. Remove the lid and simmer until most liquid has evaporated.Add clams to the pan and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the shells begin to open. Mix in potatoes. Garnish with parsley. Serves four.